Foundations of An Effective Leader


Anyone can be a leader, but not everyone can be an effective leader.

A leader is more than just being the boss. 

You take responsibility for yourself, but also your team members. You are the captain of the ship, and it is your job to steer your crew in the right direction to accomplish your goals.

An effective leader guide helps their team find a solution to a problem. An effective leader can empower others to be their best as well as take responsibility not only for yourself but also for your team. 

It can be a daunting role, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Here are some qualities of what it takes to become an effective leader.

Excellent communication skills

Communication is a two-way street, and as a leader, it is your job to listen intently. One of the most sought-after skills out there is having excellent communication skills. An excellent communicator needs to know when to listen. As a leader, listening skills are important especially if you are managing a team or coaching a client. When you are a good listener, it shows that you are paying attention and it makes the person you are talking to feel important and validated. You get to build a connection and a positive relationship. This makes people follow your leadership, and this also helps avoid misunderstandings so you commit fewer mistakes. 

Ability to Influence

A leader is someone who sets a good example whether it’s through their work ethic or how they treat others. As a leader, you are also creating and influencing future leaders. You can empower and encourage growth within your peers. One of the powers of being a leader is being able to empower others to be independent and help them develop their skills. 


Empathy is often an underrated and important quality for a leader because it improves your capacity to communicate and understand others. You become more open not only as their leader but also as a person. You cannot lead someone when you don’t even understand what the other person is going through. Everyone has a different point of view in life, different backgrounds, and emotional levels. You become more open and accepting of the world around you, and you develop compassion. As an empath, you can accept the losses without blaming others, but instead, you use the loss as an opportunity for growth and to move forward. As a leader, it is important to have an  emotional connection with your team. It fosters a positive environment for everyone, and they are more likely to enjoy work and be more productive. 


Respect goes both ways. As a leader, you shouldn’t expect to get respect right off the bat without proving yourself or if you don’t show the same to your team or employees. It takes time and effort to build that respect. Once you earn that respect, your team members, co-workers, and employees will work harder to accomplish the goals that you set for everyone. They feel valued and will be more productive and show results. Building a relationship takes time, so nurture this. Respect is also about being able to give constructive criticism.

These skills apply to self-starters, managers or even coaches who want to teach leadership skills. These are good foundations to build on and what you can use right away to engage your team members, peers, and senior partners. When you are a leader, it is your job to build your team up and support them. You have the power to influence and develop future leaders. 

We have an array of Canadian Coaches that can help increase your self-awareness, self-management and guide you on how you can bring leadership to your workplace. Leaders can build impactful relationships, and you can also hire a coach to mentor you along the way. 

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About the Author

Heather WIlsonHeather E. Wilson is the founder and CEO of The Canadian Coach, a directory and membership platform designed to unite, support and promote Canadian coaches. She's a successful business coach, speaker, author (Your Life According to You!), warrior, change-maker, risk-taker, and adventurer all rolled into one dynamic package.