An analysis of recent leadership research indicates that the sine qua non (an essential condition) for an effective leader must include most (though not all) of the following:
1. Ability to withstand job-related pressure and stress (leaders have a high degree of emotional stability).
2. Ability to take initiative, be clear and communicative (leaders are outgoing, with a high degree of extraversion).
3. Ability to innovate, be curious and have an ambitious vision (effective leaders have a high degree of openness to new experiences).
4. Ability to support, accommodate and include employees (effective leaders display a high degree of sociability).
5. Ability to set goals, be thorough and follow up (effective leaders are generally very methodical)
These abilities are often developed, not trained, which suggests the effective leader must have a variety of experiences inside and out of their respective industry. While there is nothing inherently wrong with promoting leadership from within, those organizations which fail to actively seek diversity are destined to plateau.
Innovation, creation, reinvention, and variation are the hallmark competencies of a successful organization, and effective leaders are capable of recognizing and leveraging these competencies. Does your organization encourage leader to demonstrate these competencies? If so, how might you be able to contribute to their enhancement? If not, where are the plateaus and how can you move past them?
Effective leadership is an action verb, not a passive noun.
Dr. Eugene Matthews