What does it mean to be a good leader?
Being a leader isn’t about being the “big-bad-boss” to your team and keeping them under your authority, it is about stepping up and recognizing potential in each person in your team and inspiring them to turn that potential into ideas. Leadership qualities are not about gathering followers, it is about motivating others to bring out the best in them, it is about ushering in a whole new way of accomplishing goals-together as a team.
True leaders don’t believe in ordering people around about what should be done, instead help the people reach those milestones. No one can build anything successfully all alone, but one person can definitely lead others to build something greater and bring beneficial changes to society.
Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata, Sundar Pichai, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and many more, are all great examples of GOOD LEADERS, who possess the desirable qualities which make them such admirable and sought-after public figures.
So, one must ask this question: what are the good qualities of a good leader?
A) Emphasis on Personal development :
This quality helps people in positions of leaders encourage their teams to prioritise personal development in their lives as well. Good leaders continuously better themselves by learning new skills and advancing their leadership qualities This influences the people around them to do better.
B) Strategic- thinking and acting :
In a generation where change is a constant, people who advance these changes are an asset. Exceptional leaders welcome change with open minds and help sustain those changes to help organisations evolve profitably. To accept this change, a person must have strategic abilities to plan, organise and think accordingly. Good leaders must be calculative and make well-informed decisions.
Strong leaders must have a realistic, but ground-breaking vision for the organisation. A leader with a clear vision let’s other people understand what they are working towards.
D) Building professional relationships with a personal touch:
Connecting positively with people is the foundation of success and every great leader possesses the quality of connecting and sharing (on a personal level) with other people. This makes them more likeable and trust-worthy.
The quality of humility goes a long way and good leaders must be able to accept success and failure with humility and modesty, it let’s people understand their basic nature. This is one of the best leadership qualities of a good superior.
A sense of accountability and taking responsibility for something good and bad should be present in a good leader. Sharing equal blame in a problematic situation shows maturity and honesty, which is very important for a person who wishes to be a leader. Letting others take the fall alone diminishes the respect of a leader and causes negativity in the team/workspace.
Leaders have an inherent charismatic personality which makes them admirable and attractive. Being polite, well-spoken, focused and articulate helps in captivating an audience/client.
H) Good speaking and listening skills:
Leaders who wish to be successful must be excellent orators and even better listeners. It helps them inspire people and understand them well. People always appreciate attentive listeners.
Every organisation wants someone innovative to lead the way, someone who wants to and can introduce and encourage new ideas to revolutionise productivity.
J) Conflict- Management & Resolution:
A good leader must have the necessary skills to amicably resolve conflicts in the workplace and resolve complex issues without causing further complications. An effective leader will identify conflicts, understand them and at best try to mitigate the problem and also play by the rules of the company.
A good leader should find the best way possible to settle negotiations with other parties, in order to maintain peace and professionalism and at the same time make sure they come up with an efficient and sustainable solution for the issue in hand.
Many people believe that some people are born with the qualities of a good leader , but that is not entirely true. A person can always acquire good qualities of a leader , groom and educate themselves to be victorious leaders. It must be understood that a person may not always possess all the qualities of a leader . A charismatic, intelligent, polite and inspiring individual may not have other important skills to have a successful organisation,this is the part where a good leader will entrust the team (who possess those skills) and inspire them to thrive through their strengths. One must remember that leadership is not about having power over other people, but to motivate them and lead them to victory.
So, now we must understand what are the certain, admirable characteristics of a leader?
A) Self- awareness:
A good leader is not a stranger to their strengths and weaknesses. They embrace their individuality and focus on what they are good at and constantly try to improve themselves. They are also aware of their emotional intelligence and capacity ( a very rare quality). This increases their chances to perform well even under tough circumstances, be accepting of other peoples’ judgments or opinions, and adapt well to change.
Efficient leaders are good at communicating and help others to inculcate that as well. There is no growth without appropriate communication (inside and outside the organisation). It is the responsibility of a leader to make sure there is effective communication between people to make day-day operations run smoothly.
A good leader must have integrity. The significance of integrity is apparent, it plays a vital role in decision-making and is a very important characteristic of leadership.
One of the most crucial responsibilities of a leader is to make sure they delegate work properly, equally and amicably between all the employees. Efficient delegation builds trust amongst the people in the team and also between the leader and employees.
Good leaders need to have a calming presence and for that they need to be healthy emotionally, mentally and physically. Gratitude is a virtue which boosts self-esteem, self-love. Being peaceful reduces depression, anxiety, panic and gives clarity. Being grateful and appreciative of workers and acknowledging their success can boost morale. A simple “thank-you” always goes a long way.
Leaders who show understanding and a more empathetic approach towards the workers’ life or issues are much more likely to succeed in making a positive impact and long-lasting change in the company and peoples’ life. Having an empathetic superior boosts job performance and is a more comprehensive type of leadership. It also improves the working environment.
This is one of the top qualities of a good leader . Courage is an important aspect of efficient leadership, it shows that as a leader you are not afraid to take a stand for justified reasons. It is as simple as talking up a creative idea suggested by an employee, speaking up against something unjust happening in the work space, etc. Leaders who are courageous are respected by their employees and even by their superiors.
Leaders who pragmatically and optimistically influence their organisation to improve morale, working conditions, or certain situations are very important. Inspiring/motivating people in the workspace is of utmost importance. It increases productivity and also influences young people to become leaders.
I) Imbibing Agility:
One of the greatest qualities of leadership is to learn agility and this is something people learn through different experiences. Great leaders, when unsure about what to do, quickly acclimate themselves to the situation and excel under that pressure.
A good leader treats everyone with respect (regardless of who they are and what they do). This is another top quality of a good leader. It builds a personal and honest rapport between the leader and workers, boosts self-esteem amongst people in the office. It decreases conflicts and negative issues in the work environment.
Another vital constituent of leadership is to empower people to accept disappointment as a part of success and not stop trying. This quality promotes taking calculated risks , removes the fear of failure and gives a sense of self-governance.
Possessing the skill to easily adapt to change for survival is extremely significant for a leader. It also motivates other people to show resilience during difficult situations and still try their best to collectively achieve goals.
M) Engaging and information sharing:
Good leaders understand the importance of sharing essential information and engaging in different sources of information like PR (public relations), social media, developing an effective social brand presence, meeting stakeholders, superiors, etc. to maintain a two-way communication.
N) Reflection: Leaders who are passionate about their position and the people they work with must reflect on the work they do themselves in order to perpetuate transparency, get greater results, work harder in what they are lacking and consistently commit to reflecting on their results as a leader.
“Actions speak louder than words.” A leader should practice what they preach and an exceptional leader relentlessly works hard to fulfil the needs of others and motivates them endlessly at the same time. Serving others serves us, and leaders keep clarity by proving that it is not just about them, it is about all of them, it is about the society, the world and the changes that they can collectively create.
All these characteristics and qualities of leadership makes us realise that we can acquire the needed skills to be successful leaders. Learning about management and leadership through workshops, articles and videos can help people grasp the essence of management. However, we must ask ourselves why leadership interests us? What do we love the most about it? How can we inculcate these qualities in our daily life? These questions are vital to comprehend the momentous responsibility of leadership and prepare us to bring about that change in the world.
Good leadership qualities are not easy to find, but with changing times, many people (especially young people) are leaning towards becoming great leaders of the world (Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Aditya Thackrey, Virat Kohli, etc.).
We must realise that leadership is about wanting the best for the people we are leading and not being selfish or authoritarians- who want followers or disciples. People who are corrupt and only operate to reap benefits for themselves are not successful and not real leaders. Leadership is a social process and an essential one, because leaders shape the future and reconstruct the present.
They inspire us to never give-up on our ambitions and follow them persistently by working hard and keeping ourselves motivated.