RUNNING HEAD: QUALITIES OF A GOOD LEADER 1
QUALITIES OF A GOOD LEADER 5
Qualities of a Good Leader
A leader is a person who gives direction and gives a pace to a group of people, a team or even an organization. Every leader is expected to have outstanding qualities that will enable him give direction to his or her subjects, earn their trust, understanding, but above all earn their respect. These qualities are essential for any person to play a role in leading a group of people. In any given organization, the competence and ethical values of the leader is very important as these values extend to his or her subjects. It’s therefore necessary for everyone to know these qualities which include; honesty, ability to delegate, respect, communication, confidence, commitment, ability to inspire, positive attitude, creativity and intuition.
A good leader is honest: Honesty is a great and very important attribute that every leader must have. Being honest sets an example to the team members or subjects and makes them follow suit. A leader should be able to identify when they are making mistakes in decision making. This promotes a healthy lifestyle between the leader and his employees. By emphasizing honesty and displaying it themselves, they will hopefully influence the environment into an honest friendly workspace hence in a great way improve the working of the team.
Every great leader should have the ability to delegate: This involves enhancing skills of team members and enabling them to increase their ability to make decisions and contribute to organization success. Delegation gives team members responsibility and a taste of leadership themselves and help them to remain motivated. In delegation, it’s important to identify the strengths of the team and capitalize on them (Maxwell, 2007). Finding what a member likes doing best is key since they will find the task more enjoyable and hence put more thought and effort to it. Proper delegation does not involve giving employees or team members more work to do.
A good leader should be able to communicate to their team (Maxwell, 2007). Being able to clearly and succinctly describe what they want done is extremely important because if they can’t relate their vision to their team, they won’t all be working towards the same goal. A leader should be able to reach the people around them and share information with them effectively. Communication is key to anyone who aspires to become a leader. If anyone possesses all other qualities but lacks ability to communicate effectively, they can never become great leaders. Good communication also involves being a good listener; good leaders ought to be good listeners, able to listen carefully and elicit information by proper questioning. A good leader should be good at public speaking and skilled at getting their point across at any formal meeting and also at informal gatherings.
Self-confidence as a leadership quality is very important. Anyone who lacks self-confidence can never become a leader. It comprises of the ability to deliver vocally, possess a sense of process and being able to make firm decisions. Confidence is an important trait for any great leader. It is different from arrogance or cockiness (Rao, & Krishna, (2005). It is a feeling of ones trust in their ability (Adair, 1998). When a leader displays confidence in his work and decisions to their team, the team tends to trust in his leadership more and not question his decisions.
Another quality that is essential to anyone who is or is planning to be a good leader is commitment. This refers to dedication of time and resources towards achieving the goals of the team (Rao, & Krishna, 2005). By proving their commitment to the work and their role, they will not only earn the respect of their team, but will also instil a hardworking energy among their team. It’s important for a leader to show their commitment not only to the work at hand, but also to their team. People will respond more openly to a leader who is dedicated towards their work and constantly works for the betterment of team and the organization. A good leader should be zealous about their work and prove themselves as a source of inspiration for their team (Maxwell, 2007).
Positive attitude is another great quality that every leader should have: They should keep their team motivated towards the continued success of the team and keep their energy levels up. They should try to keep the team in a fine mood and help them achieve productivity as a team. When a leader shows positive attitude, the team has increased energy and zeal and tends to see possibilities even where they thought there was none (Adair, 1998).
A good leader should be Creative: They should be able to come up with new and better ideas aimed at improving their work. A leader should be able to have the ability to come up with prospective ways of doing things for the betterment of the team. Decisions will not always be so clear-cut, a leader may be forced at times to deviate from their set course and they have to evaluate the options and come up with a clear suitable decision. This is where their creativity will prove to be vital (Rao, & Krishna, 2005). It is during these critical situations that a team will look to their leader for guidance and they may be forced to make a quick decision (Stronge, Tucker, & Hindman, 2004). It’s therefore important for them to learn to think outside the box and to choose which of two choices is the best option. Choosing the first option without evaluating the rest is not always a good way to make decisions for a team. A leader should be able to think of an idea to give it some thought, and then turn it to the team for guidance.
A good leader should have intuition: He should be able to identify what path and solution should be taken in leading the team. When leading a team through uncharted waters, there is no roadmap on what is expected to be done. It’s important to remember that nothing is ever certain, and the more the risk, the more the pressure (Rao, & Krishna, 2005). This is where the leader’s natural intuition should come in. It’s his role as a leader to use it towards achieving the team’s goals. Drawing on past experience is a good reflex towards achieving this as is reaching out to mentors for support. Guiding their team through their day-to-day tasks can be honed down to a science. However when something unexpected occurs, or they are thrown into a new scenario, the team will look to the leader for guidance. Eventually though, the tough decisions will be up to the leader to decide and they will need to depend on their gut instinct for answers (Stronge, Tucker & Hindman, 2004).
Any good leader should have the ability to inspire: Leadership is based on the power to inspire, that is, the power to inspire others to follow. The ability to inspire others to reach great heights is a skill that every leader requires. An inspirational leader feels passionately about the mission and vision of a team and therefore they do all in their power to ensure their team achieves this. For a team to be inspired by a leader they need to feel included (Rao, & Krishna, 2005). A great leader should therefore be able to include people in the team’s activities. A good leader should make the members feel invested in the accomplishments of the team. Being able to inspire your team is great for focusing on the future goals, but it is also important for the current issues. When you are all mired deep in work, morale is low, and energy levels are fading, recognize that everyone needs a break now and then. Acknowledge the work that everyone has dedicated and commend the team on each of their efforts (Rao, & Krishna, 2005). It is your job to keep spirits up, and that begins with an appreciation for the hard work.
A good leader should have consistency: Consistency is an important leadership quality. A leader should maintain their own way of approach and should not change it radically. Displaying inconsistency will confound team members (Rao, & Krishna, s2005). They should remember that they are a part of the team (Adair, 1998). Therefore, before expecting consistency from others, a leader should ensure they are stable on their part. To become a good leader, one should always remain steadfast to the goal, without wasting time in checking for the possibility of hindrances that might creep in. If any obstacles are found or identified in the process, it is the moral responsibility of a leader to solve them and find better ways to make progress towards the target or goal of the team.
All qualities discussed are important and every leader should have them in him. When choosing a leader these qualities should be the guide towards identifying the leader with the best capacity and ability (Adair, 1998). In the same way anyone wishing to be a leader can use these qualities to evaluate themselves (Adair, 1998). Although nobody is perfect, it’s a necessity that anyone in charge of leading others at least has qualities in them that makes them capable of leading a team.
Maxwell, J. C. (2007). The 21 indispensable qualities of a leader: Becoming the person others will want to follow. Nashville, Tenn: T. Nelson.
Adair, J. E. (1998). Leadership skills. London: Institute of Personnel and Development.
Rao, V. S. P., & Krishna, H. V. (2005). Management: Text and Cases. New Delhi: Excel Books.
Stronge, J. H., Tucker, P. D., & Hindman, J. L. (2004). Handbook for qualities of effective teachers. Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.