What is it that makes a leader? Some say that leaders are born. Others say that leaders can be made. So the key question is really about whether someone can come to possess the qualities that a leader should have. However, before anyone can determine whether someone can learn them or not, we must first identity what the important qualities actually are.
A leader is a person who performs the role of influencing others to achieve certain goals and objective in a group, organization or community. Not everyone can lead. One is either born as a leader or has the ability to learn to lead.
Leadership styles very between different organizations and individual. However, there are certain qualities that define a leader, irrespective the organization or environment. Below, some of them are stated:
Self-confidence and inner strength: leaders believe in their ability and power to influence others. Even if they consult others for opinions, they stand by their final decision and judgment. They are not afraid of dealing with difficult situations in order to achieve the ultimate goals and objectives. They have strong mentalities about everything. Weak people do not make good leaders.
Enthusiasm and charisma: since a leader must inspire and motivate others to perform to their best, he/she should possess the kind of drive that moves people. People do not perform to their best if the leader is not hard working and charismatic enough to create the kind of passion that gets the work done.
Communication: a leader should be good communicator both in writing and in personal interactions, such as meetings, public speeches, ideas, visions, goals, etc. must be presented with clarity, and this requires a person with good communication skills, excellence in public speaking is a big plus for leaders.
Integrity and attitude: how people perceive someone is important in whether he/she can be a leader. No one wants a leader with poor integrity in society. Therefore, leaders respect those around them and act in ways that are considered to be acceptable norms in society. People look at this when judging someone’s ability to lead. A leader should also carry a positive attitude, with a great sense of humor, if he is succeeding in his organization or community.
Clear understanding and knowledge: a clear understanding and knowledge of the factors that affect the performance of a group, company, community or organization are essential for a good leader. Int eh case of a business, for instance, a leader must be knowledgeable of issues like the clients, market, suppliers, competition and a host of other factors that can influence the growth and/or decline of the organization. This will enable the leader to effectively guide others and formulate clear visions geared towards the organizational goals.
A leader accepts others people’s ideas and opinions: he/she understand that even though the ultimate decision is in his/her hands, it is important to listen to other people for their ideas, suggestions, and comments. A leader is not afraid of constructive criticism and he/she accepts challenges. Great leaders are open to change as long as they perceive it to make things better. They don’t jump into conclusions, but they listen to others first before making final sound decisions.
Ability to go the extra mile: a leader is willing to sacrifice his time and effort to work harder towards achieving the goals and objectives of the origination, even when others seem to abandon him/her. Leaders are very dedicated and are always willing to offer themselves to serve their people. And they have no problem accepting responsibility a blame for failures.
Emotional control: this is one of the greatest personality qualities of a leader. A good leader should remain calm and control his emotions in stressful and demanding situations. Leaders should understand that their emotions greatly affect their followers’ emotions as well and this ultimately impacts the performance of the entire group. A leader should therefore be someone that can withstand the hard times without blowing his/her mind off.
The above qualities should be a useful guide for anyone choosing their leader.
However, being a great leader takes time, but you must listen to your team member, value their opinions, ask for input and make them feel valued as a part of the team. No one wants to feel replaceable! Ensuring that a team is ‘close knit’ is vital as the work flow will increase greatly if there is trust and respect between each and every member. The leader should never think or feel that they are any higher or any better than any other member of the team.