Qualities of a good leader
Leaders take up the responsibility to guide, inspire and motivate others. They must have multidimensional traits to be effective and captivating in behavior. A good leader should have the following characteristics:
1. Vision & Forward Planning
A good leader should be forward-looking and futuristic. He should be able to anticipate and analyze situations and so one must formulate logical programs as a result. If a leader doesn’t exhibit this quality, they cannot influence others.
2. Communication Skills
Good leaders should have excellent communication skills and must be able to convey the procedures and policies precisely, clearly and effectively.
While physical appearance isn’t as important, a good leader should have a good personality. This includes a healthy mind, fit body and good dressing sense.
A leader must possess the intelligence to analyze problems and challenging situations. They should be analytical, carefully considering the advantages and disadvantages before summarizing the situation. Hence, maintaining a positive mindset and displaying a mature outlook are crucial qualities.
5. Sense of responsibility
Leaders should be accountable and responsible towards individuals’ work to influence others. A leader must have responsibility towards organizational goals to be able to fully harness and realize the maximum capabilities in a practical manner.
To achieve this, he should be self-motivated and ignite a desire to deliver the best of their abilities. This allows them to set themselves an example before their subordinates.
A leader should not be biased and have a fair outlook for all. They should not favor any particular individual. They should treat everybody equally and develop their own opinion. Moreover, their judgment should be factual and logical.
It’s crucial for a leader to possess this quality as they interact closely with people. Managing the personal issues of team members requires careful attention and empathy. Thus, approaching individuals with a humanitarian perspective is important for fostering a positive atmosphere.
8. Self-Confidence and determination
WIth confidence, a leader can earn the confidence and trust of their subordinates. They should be trustworthy and handle the situations with 100% determination.
There’s a timeless saying, ”Walking in someone’s else’s shoes”. It holds great significance as true fairness and objectivity emerge from this understanding. A good leader must grasp both the challenges and grievances of their team members, while also gaining a comprehensive understanding of their needs and aspirations. This promotes enhanced human relations and establishes meaningful personal connections with the employees.
10. Awareness & Understanding
A leader should be aware of and understand the nature of work of his followers, this allows them to guide them in the right direction and win their trust.
While a leader cannot have all the above traits altogether, they can develop them over time & hone those they already have.
Role of a leader
A leader has to serve different roles being a part of a group, community or an organization. These include:
1. Create Visions
A good leader should set a perfect example of the expectations of their team. A leader in this role should be creative and innovative and able to create a vision that inspires others to join in. They should work together to gather ideas from their team to make a solid plan.
A leader’s vision guides the efforts of the team members. Hence, it’s important to communicate long-term objectives and show how daily tasks contribute to the vision. Leaders should be open to new ideas, work closely with the team, and see the business from different perspectives.
2. Establish Communication
Another role of a leader is to establish a system in the organization based on protocols where everyone knows who to talk to about various matters. That way, if employees have questions or concerns about anything, they know exactly who to reach out to. They should include opportunities for face-to-face communication, which is a must to discuss important issues or convey sensitive information.
Leaders must be strategic in whatever they do. They should think ahead and plan carefully. Strategic leaders achieve good results consistently by sticking to their plans and implementing strategies. By focusing on the most important processes and creating systems that motivate people, good leaders can foster a team-friendly environment where everyone together can turn their goals into a reality.
Leaders are always open for changes and ready to adapt to them, be it a new technology, protocol or a trend that can aid organizational growth.
4. Talent Advocator
A good leader helps everyone in their team do their best and get better at their performance, resolve issues, and move ahead in their career. Being a leader means seeing others as complete individuals with a body, mind, heart and spirit. Being in this position, leaders guide and help others in improving their skills and leadership. Hence, they act more like a coach/mentor, teach what they know, listen to the thoughts and opinions of their team, solve issues quickly, and be available when subordinates need them.
5. Role Model
A leader is effective and successful in the sense if their followers or subordinates look up to and want to become like them. For this, leaders should demonstrate the behavior they are expected to. Anger, uncaring attitudes, ignorance, procrastination, etc should not be a part of a leader’s attitude. Such negative traits and attitudes do not help win the respect of their team and they won’t be able to achieve the organizational goals as well.
Some of the roles of a leader are influencer, team player, facilitator, change agent, philosopher, coach, friend, and delegator.
A team or organization cannot succeed without an effective leadership strategy. Even the best players cannot guarantee success without a good guide or coach, or if the leader does not have a proper leadership strategy.
When choosing a leadership strategy, one can use these tips:
- A leader may not necessarily stick to a consistent strategy of leadership throughout their career. Instead, they adapt a strategy depending on the situation they are faced with. In case of a self-reliant team, a leader should directly lead the team from the front. Alternatively, they can delegate and give inputs only when necessary.
- To choose the most effective leadership strategy, a leader must consider their own characteristics and those of their team members.
- A leader should always be willing to try new approaches to address a conflict or solve a problem. They may not necessarily adopt a strategy by books and develop their own.
- Leaders should not copy popular or established leaders to deal with a situation. Instead, they should be flexible enough to develop a strategy based on the uniqueness of every situation. Remember, imitating other leaders is never a good leadership strategy.
Remember, good leaders are made and not born. They are aware of their traits and personality and accordingly choose a leadership style that works for the benefit of their employees as well as the organization.