We all have come across terms like leadership and leadership qualities many times in our life. And it sounds like a simple thing, but when you look at the deep notion of leadership, it’s entirely a vast concept. There are hundreds and thousands of definitions of leadership. But one of my favorites is by the 34th President of the US, Dwight D. Eisenhower. He defines Leadership as “the art of getting someone else to do something you want to be done because he wants to do it.”
When we hear the word leader, the first of many things that come to our mind is the CEOs of big multinational companies such as Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and the list goes on and on. These are the people that are in charge of the biggest business companies in the world, which we generally call leaders. So, you might be thinking, “Not all of us can be a CEO, duh!” But here’s good news for you. You don’t have to be a CEO of a huge business corporation to be a good leader, instead, you can develop leadership traits by learning these 10 Leadership Qualities that will not only help you become a good leader but a Great Leader.
Zig Zaglar once, said: “It is true that integrity alone won’t make you a leader, but without integrity, you will never be one.” Integrity is the most important and greatly appreciated the leadership Quality or attribute in the process of becoming a great leader. So, what does having integrity mean for a leader? It means that you live in harmony with your deepest principles, you always respect and keep your word, and you’re honest with everyone. When you display integrity, people are drawn towards you because they know that you are someone reliable, trustworthy, and whom they can depend upon. Thus, a great leader can achieve unbelievable success with integrity as the keystone.
There was a time when communication used to be a one way street between a leader and his subordinates. ‘Leader speaks and everyone listens’ that was a traditional quality of a leader. But we’ve come a long way since then. Today, a good leader cannot and definitely should not depend on that sort of mentality. To become a great leader, one needs to communicate effectively with their subordinates. That means a great leader should not only speak their mind and share only their ideas, instead s/he should be able to listen carefully to the ideas and opinions of their subordinates.
Accountability is one great leadership quality that can make a difference in the success and failure of a company. When a leader takes personal accountability, s/he is willing to answer for the outcomes of their choices, their behaviors, and their actions in all situations in which they are involved. An accountable leader takes responsibility. Taking responsibility can be terrifying, especially for new leaders. But that shows you as a person who is willing to take responsibility despite the great possibility of failure. Therefore, to be a great leader, you need to first become an accountable leader.
Self-confidence is undoubtedly the most essential leadership quality that every leader must possess. You can’t afford to not have self-confidence if you’re thinking of becoming a great leader. Because how will you lead others if you don’t even have the confidence that you can? Leadership is all about having the confidence to make decisions. Not only confidence allows you to lead people with authority, but it also allows you to make hard decisions, take full responsibility, and solve problems efficiently without any delay.
What is that one thing, which makes a great leader different than a typical leader? Is it the title, salary, or appearance? No, it’s the ability of the leader to make their subordinates drawn towards an objective not through force or obligation, but by choice, passion, and purpose. This is what a great leader does differently than their counterparts by inspiring their subordinates. To become an inspirational leader, you can have a clear vision, create goals, work with subordinates, acknowledge them, and encourage self-development.
6. Learning agility
In simple words, learning agility means knowing what to do when you have no idea what to do. Research shows that the leader’s ability to learn and adapt continuously is far more likely to predict their leadership success than traditional indicators such as past performance and demonstrated skills and abilities. In today’s world, a great leader must be adaptable, resilient, and open to innovative thinking. That being said, you need to make the right decisions quickly, predict things before happening to become a great leader.
Leadership is a process where a leader influences a group of individuals to work toward the achievement of a common goal which they consider desirable. Thus, influence is one of the key leadership qualities for successful leadership. Without the ability to influence others, your ability to make what you imagine a reality remains vague because, after all, no one can do it alone. But, that doesn’t mean manipulating others to get your way. It’s about noticing what motivates employee commitment and using that knowledge to power performance and positive results.
“No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.” once said by Andrew Carnagie. No leader can do all things at all times by himself, and a delegation is a key tool for boosting team and organizational performance and efficiency.
Among many leadership qualities, delegation is an important factor for maximizing employee contributions and increasing productivity among all members of a team. “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do, and let them surprise with their results.” Therefore, it is significant for a great leader to focus on key responsibilities and leave the rest to their subordinates.
9. Emotional Intelligence
Simply put, emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of people around you. Leaders with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people. Having emotional intelligence is a very essential leadership quality to be a great leader. Therefore, a great leader needs to understand and respond to emotions, overcome stress at the moment, and be aware of how your actions affect others.
There is a significant difference between leaders who lead with their titles and leaders who lead with passion. So, what makes great leaders stand out? Passionate leaders are fully engaged and committed to achieving their goals while helping others achieve theirs. When you’re in the presence of a passionate leader, your sensory system is stimulated, your emotions are motivated as you pick up their positive energy. Bottom line: a great leader has passion and actively involves and engages with their subordinates to make a difference.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What makes a good leader?
A good leader possesses a clear vision, is courageous, and has integrity, honesty, humility, and clear focus. Good leaders help people reach their goals, are not afraid to hire people that might be better than them, and take pride in the accomplishments of those they help along the way.
What are the 9 most important roles of a leader?
Here are the 9 roles every leader must fill (even the new ones) that are most important to the success of the team and organization as a whole:
- Team Player
- Change agent
What is an effective leader?
Effective leadership includes exhibiting a strong character. Effective leaders exhibit honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, and ethics. It act in line with how they speak and earn the right to be responsible for others’ success in the company and involves clear communication skills.
What is the most important leadership skill?
The most important qualities of a good leader include: integrity, accountability, empathy, humility, resilience, vision, influence, and positivity.
What are your strengths as a leader?
The strengths of an effective team leader inspire the trust and respect of the team and stimulate production within the workplace:
- Good communication
- Social skills