Leadership in simple terms means an ability to make others follow, willingly. A leader is a person who has a clear vision besides having a well-defined picture of where he/ she intend to go. They know in their minds what success means to them and are aware regarding how to achieve their goals. It is to be understood that a clear vision alone cannot help a leader to attain all what he/ she desires. It is crucial that they utilise these traits optimally and in the best suited fashion, share it with others and act upon them judiciously when the right opportunity strikes. Leaders should be able to actively communicate their vision in such terms that their followers easily buy into it.
There are quite a few leadership qualities that every good leader known has possessed in their lifetimes. That implies there are certain clearly marked leadership qualities that distinguish a leader from any other common man. While for some these may come naturally, those who wish to lead others can adapt these qualities with time and passion.
Integrity is the first thing that any leader must possess. This is so because a person who has integrity is identical on the inside and outside. Such people can be easily trusted and have innate values and principles too. A leader with no integrity cannot expect people to rely on him completely. Predictable reactions, honest dealings, controlled emotions, absence of harsh outbursts and tantrums are some indications of integrity. This makes a leader further approachable for his/ her followers. Similarly, dedication is another quality of a leader. This implies a leader spends the required energy and time to accomplish the task he/ she has at hand. By doing so, they inspire others around them who follow their example to be able to do the same.
Magnanimity is another virtue that means the leader gives credit wherever it is due. Leaders ensure that the credit for the success of what they do spreads as wide as possible so that each follower can bask in its glory and thus stay motivated. Conversely, good leaders take the onus of all the failures keeping in mind that none of his/ her followers are ever made to feel inferior or insignificant at any point in time.
When talking about leadership qualities, humility also scores high. Humble leaders are the ones who are remembered long last and can easily make way into people’s hearts. They try to elevate all those who are connected with them but are not self effacing too. They understand the fact well that the status bestowed on them by the followers does not equate them with God and hence they stay grounded. This makes them easily accessible too.
Openness is another quality that makes a leader able to incorporate new ideas and methods of execution. No egoism is there and the leader is open to listen to, and imbibe good ideas and feedback from his/ her followers. This builds mutual trust and respect between the followers and leaders, while keeping them well-supplied with fresh ideas which in turn further its whole vision.
Discipline is the most primary of leadership qualities. If he/ she intend to make others follow and reach their goal, it is pertinent that the leaders are well disciplined and sincere in their intentions. Only then will others be motivated to follow him/her.
Fairness is also counted among the pertinent leadership qualities in a leader to be able to expect people to follow him/her. This refers to dealing with people justly. It is the task of a leader to verify all facts before any judgment is pronounced at their level. They should never leap to conclusions without complete and valid evidences. When followers witness their leader treating all equal and fair, they reward the leader with complete dedication and loyalty. While the leader needs to be fair, he/ she also require being assertive. They should possess the ability to state clearly what they expect so that no misunderstandings are created. If they wish to have desired results, they have to be assertive. Their being under-assertive or over-assertive can both be counted as their weakness. This is to be noted that assertiveness and aggression are not inter-related.
The leader must be creative and able to think out-of-the box. They need to have a third perspective that others are not able to see or analyze. Their approach to various problems should be multi-pronged and directed towards meeting their ends in a fair manner. Competency is also considered among the crucial leadership qualities in the contemporary times. While the followers don’t expect their leaders to master every field known, they do want them to be fairly updated about various burning issues and concepts prevalent in the current age.
Further, people always want to follow someone who is honest and transparent in his/ her actions. With scams and scandals on the rise, it becomes all the more important that the leader proves him/ her to their followers. This also helps have a firmer influence over the followers who can bank on the leader in times of emergencies and crisis situations without thinking twice.
Lastly, contemporary leaders also need to have some sense of humour to be able to keep the environment light when there is tension in the group. Effectual leaders are the ones who know how to energize their followers using humour. It also helps develop better camaraderie among the followers and with their leader.
Not everyone is born a leader but anyone can easily cultivate leadership qualities and be able to lead masses. If one imbibes these qualities and exhibits them on a regular basis, these traits will get embedded in their natural personality and they would be able to lead others easily and effectively.