This post is really a sequel to ” Management and Personality” which I wrote in this blog on 20/8/13. Successful leaders generally share certain personality traits, characteristics and qualities. I will refer to all of them as qualities in this post. There are many qualities which determine the effectiveness of leadership; however, this is not meant to be a definitive or exhaustive list of such qualities. I propose to present a list of 15 qualities which conduce to successful leadership in any field, education included.
Before I start the list, I want to suggest that there are at least two qualities that aspiring leaders should have before they are elevated to the position of leader. These are the willingness to follow their own leader, and loyalty to their leader. It is my observation that persons who lack these two qualities often become poor leaders when they are promoted. Good leaders inspire others to follow them and they achieve their organizational goals. Here is our list of 15 qualities common to most effective leaders.
All successful leaders have a clear vision for their organization. They know exactly where they want it to go and how to get there. They create strategic plans, goals, processes, structures, and motivate their teams to achieve the goals.
They are articulate, know their staff and know how to communicate their vision and enthusiasm to everyone, so that everyone commits to the vision and related goals, and becomes motivated. They make sure that everyone knows exactly what he or she has to do.
Leaders who are highly competent will be respected by their followers. A good command of the necessary technical, conceptual and human skills will elicit respect and confidence from employees. The leader will be able to help them solve any problems they encounter.
Leaders must be honest, trustworthy and incorruptible. Successful leaders know that trust is highly important in the workplace and they lead by example. Good work relationships cannot be built in the absence of integrity and positive values.
Good leaders possess large measures of courage. They are not faint-hearted in any way. They are very self-confident and can stand up to anyone or anything. They remain calm, positive and confident when major problems arise in the workplace.
They are passionate about their work. This passion is contagious and fosters enthusiasm among the workers. People stop watching the clock, and productivity increases.
Successful leaders are focused. They maintain a laser-like concentration on their goals and keep everyone on task. Distractions and time wasting are eliminated without alienating staff members. There is concern for the welfare of staff as well as concern for production.
Good leaders have high scores in emotional and social intelligence. They know the importance of cultivating good and positive relationships with their staff. They get to know workers individually and they understand that people perform better in an environment in which they feel valued and recognized for their efforts.
Effective leaders understand that true success in any organization depends on team-work. So, in addition to developing deserving individuals, they promote collaboration through team-work to facilitate the attainment of organizational goals.
They are flexible in their thinking and their approach to problems. They are open-minded and willing to listen to constructive criticism. They will change their policies or decisions if conditions change or if they are given new information that is better than the original information.
11. EVALUATIVE SKILL
Great leaders constantly evaluate everything they do and everything that is happening in the workplace, the market and the society. They seek constant improvement, and change whatever is not working.
12. PROBLEM SOLVING
They are excellent problem solvers. They expect problems and do not fear them. They solve problems creatively and move on confidently to the next challenge. They never throw up their hands in defeat.
13. DECISION-MAKING SKILLS
They make good decisions quickly and competently. They think on their feet and sometimes rely on informed intuition in addition to regular decision-making models.
14. EFFECTIVE DELEGATION
They realize that they cannot do everything alone so they develop promising individuals on the staff through the process of training and delegation. This also ensures the future of the organization.
Effective leaders set out to make a positive difference in their organization. They improve the organization in every way and make it more productive. However, they do not seek to take all the credit for this success. They share it with their staff and often give the staff most of the credit because they tend to be humble servants of the organization rather than ego-driven individuals.
There are other qualities shared by good leaders, but I think that the 15 selected above are outstanding. Leaders who cultivate these qualities of effective leaders will certainly motivate their employees to be more engaged and productive in the workplace.
- “Qualities of a Good Leader” (thenonotesshow.wordpress.com)