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Leadership Qualities

7 Leadership Qualities that make a good leader

Leadership qualities are the hard-wired behaviors that help us achieve leadership. There is a whole lot of talk about leadership qualities, but what are they? What does it take to be a leader? Are leadership qualities innate, or can we develop them by practicing certain skills and getting better at our jobs daily?

Leaders must have the core leadership qualities to be successful. These qualities are often aided by skills and abilities that leaders develop through proper training, coaching, and mentoring.

A leader who has a democratic style is one who respects others and treats them with dignity and respect, listens to their concerns, values their input, and allows them to have an equal voice in decision-making. On the other hand, leaders with an autocratic style tend to lack empathy and have too much control over their groups. They also tend to be self-serving, neglect others’ needs or feelings, are insensitive to others’ needs or feelings, favor themselves at the expense of other people’s happiness, and take unnecessary risks since they don’t care about how an action affects anyone as long as it gets them what they want.

Moreover, to be a good leader, one must understand the role of leadership qualities and the skills that make up a leader’s ability to influence others. For example, leaders need to build rapport with their team members while allowing them to be creative. On the other hand, leaders who are know-it-all may see things differently than those on their team and influence group opinions in a controlling manner rather than through open dialogue.

What is leadership?

Leadership is a process of influencing others for a common goal. It requires an individual to be more aware of the people and situations around him, can influence others to work in unison towards a common goal, and inspire them to follow and do what is required to achieve the goal.

In turn, this process causes changes in how others behave both intra-personally and inter-personally (between two or more people), leading some to question if leadership exists at all, especially when one considers parallel structures like mass movements as a replacement for leadership.

However, the noun “leader” and the adjective “leadership” refer to specific attributes of that person’s behavior or positioning within a culture. Generally, leadership is a set of leader behaviors that results in increased loyalty by followers and enhanced productivity through the perception of motivation among subordinates.

Moreover, most professional leaders define what they do as “leadership.” This stems from their own self-imposed or organizational norms – otherwise known as doctrine or dogma; however, these are being changed with greater awareness to trends outside organizational policies and practices within specific cultural contexts.

What makes a good leader?

Most people who have implemented a single system of control (physical or psychological management) tend not to realize after the fact that it can trigger resentment and disdain from individuals. When in this situation where one is both the “upper hand” and simultaneously responsible for disciplining others, stress on those methods increases and eventually could lead to secondary situations of abuse within workplace settings. People will defy direct leadership when there is no means by which to argue against it.

So, the question remains. What makes a good leader? What are the most essential Leadership Qualities?

In essence,

  1. Leadership is not a position, it is a mindset.
  2. A good leader is patient and has a positive attitude.
  3. They take time to listen to others and understand their concerns.
  4. A good leader leads by example and sets the right example for their team members.
  5. Leaders will always listen to the feedback of their team.

7 Leadership Qualities that you should know:

1. Integrity

It’s amazing how often integrity comes up as one of the top things people think makes a good leader. Trust, trustworthiness, and honesty are certainly important as well. It guides leaders to be truthful and avoid deception, which makes honesty a necessity for good communication in organizations.

Integrity means doing the right thing and turning in good work even if everybody else is telling you to do something different. Many times, it will mean staying true to your values long after they become questionable or even unpopular.

— Charles T. Goodhart (Godliman)

2. Humility

A real leader is willing to admit when she’s wrong and willing to teach. The biggest mistake that people make as leaders is to think they know it all and can do no wrong. This self-centered attitude in leadership begins to destroy their effectiveness quickly if you have high expectations of your staff or even yourself.

A leader’s concern for his people grows out of respect and love. A person who is not able to be humble will never be a great leader.

– Warren Bennis

3. Resilience

Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from adversity. Resilient leaders are those who can bounce back after setbacks and failures. They can focus on what needs to be done instead of being too worried about what has happened in the past. Resilient leaders accept responsibility for their actions, apologize where appropriate, etc.

Quite often resilience is a sign of profound self-confidence and personal fortitude. Leaders who exhibit it simply have other characteristics to fall back on, whatever the circumstances.

– Warren Bennis

4. Self Awareness

Being a good leader is about managing yourself and your team to make sure all of you are working at optimal levels. Leaders need to be self-aware. They need to know what motivates them, how they are perceived by others, and how they can improve their skills. All this because they don’t just want to be great leaders; they want to be the best leaders they can be.

Self-awareness helps us become more aware of our strengths as well as our weaknesses. This knowledge enables us to remain grounded in reality – it gives rise to unwavering self-confidence

– Abraham Lincoln

5. Empathy

Being an empathetic leader is one of the key leadership qualities. Empathy is a quality that requires a deep understanding of the emotions and feelings of others, and it enables leaders to understand people’s needs and aspirations.

Empathetic leaders can explore visions, values, goals, and the meaning of working with others. Empathy also enables them to manage diversity while maintaining group cohesion.

Empathy is not merely tolerance; it is arguably one of the central ingredients for any successful organization.

– Howard Schultz, Chief Executive Officer, Starbucks Corporation

6. Speaking up when it’s needed

Leaders need to let people know what actions will enhance the results. When people are not on the same page, it becomes very difficult to accomplish anything. Leaders need to have clear expectations of people when they are leading them.

I don’t care how much you know until you can get someone else to care as much as you do.

– Richard Bach

7. Making decisions

Leaders must make the right decision for the good of their teams and organizations. If they’re not good at making tough calls, it can be a huge source of stress and tension.

A good leader takes the time to make informed decisions and asks for input from others.

This is an important quality because it shows employees that their boss has confidence in them and cares about what they think.

Genius is not so much a matter of being able to do things as it is in knowing what not to do.

– Leonardo da Vinci

Do leadership qualities come naturally, or do they need to be developed?

Some are born leaders with the inherent qualities of moving the masses. But does it mean that someone can’t develop leadership qualities? No! Leadership qualities can be acquired through structured work towards it.

There are no shortcuts to becoming a great leader. You can’t just wake up one day and be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. But there are things you can do to improve your leadership skills and become a better leader:

Fact check on your Leadership qualities

Take a look at your leadership style and ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I give feedback?
  • How do I set goals for my team?
  • What kind of information do I need to make good decisions?
  • How do I manage conflict?
  • How do I motivate a team to achieve the goals we set for them?
  • Are there certain skills I’m lacking because of my past experiences?
  • How do I ensure that others are treated fairly and equally?
  • Who was a leader in the workplace previously where they joined me or came to work with me, etc.?

Set targets of Leadership Qualities for yourself

When you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, it’s time to set goals.

Think about the qualities that make you a great leader. Then identify how those qualities can be improved.

For example, if you want to improve the management of conflict, ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I good at in regard to dealing with difficult situations?
  • Where do I often fall short when it comes to managing conflicts or resolving disagreements?
  • Am I willing to recognize my flaws and learn from them so that they don’t happen again in the future? How do I deal with conflicts?
  • Do I take into consideration previous experiences in dealing with situations and other people on a day-to-day basis?

Try it out

Once you have a goal in mind, you can start seeking out opportunities to practice.

For example, if you want to develop your leadership skills in a particular area, try setting aside time each week to work on that skill. Try doing something like videoing yourself and interacting with your peers regularly.

For example, record a video of you listening to people talk about aspirations, attitudes, and work ethics that are important to you as an employee. Go through the videos later and use them for reference. Then ask other people in leadership roles how they would have run certain situations differently had they been present at the time of recording or in their absence.

Having these ‘warts and all’ recordings can be a great thing because it goes against the grain of our natural tendency to imagine ourselves perfect in every situation, and this helps us gauge our behavior objectively. This also means that you can start finding creative ways to remediate your weaknesses as well as improve on your strengths – which will make you even better at being an effective manager overall!

Seek help over enhancing these leadership qualities when required

You may not be able to achieve all of your goals on your own. For example, you might want to learn a new skill, but you don’t have the time or resources to do so. That’s okay! You can use what you have to build on and strengthen the areas of your life that are in need.

It’s important to get help from others when you’re trying to develop your leadership skills. You can seek out a mentor or attend a leadership development program.

One of the best ways to get help is by reading books. Reading a book can give you new ideas that will help move your leadership skills up to the next level.

Conclusion

All in all, leadership qualities are important because they are required to be a leader. If you do not have the qualities of a leader, then you will not be able to lead others. Without leadership qualities, there is no way that one can lead others effectively.

Moreover, leadership is a process. There are no shortcuts to being a good leader. Leaders need to be good listeners, learn from mistakes and make decisions quickly. Some leaders may consider themselves great because they have the skills of delegation, mentoring, and delegating authority, but they lack the ability to lead others.

Every company is looking for someone who can at least possess some of the qualities that are essential to be a really good leader: charisma, technical skills, a business mind, and a good manager.

Some people are born for leadership others have to learn it, and that is something we all can do with effort. A great leader will compliment you as well as complement your personhood because he or she desires that you be around longer than just working in the office.

All you need is the right handholding support to take you through this journey of becoming a better leader.

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