What image conjures up in your head when you think about a leader? Mostly our history classes acquainted us with leaders who led the society from darkness to light? But did you know leadership abilities are required even to maintain calm within your closest friend circle? So, let’s talk a little about the 15 qualities of a good leader.
You cannot be born a good leader. Just like many other virtues, this is also something that we need to acquire and practice before preaching. With increasing social roles, our ability to tackle tricky situations make effective plans should also increase. Every organization working at several levels is hungry for people with great leadership skills.
15 qualities of a good leader
Success stories vary from person to person. However, there are some key steps that most of us should follow. Similarly, achieving the greatest qualities of being a good leader can be completely different from any of your acquaintances. But these are the few common grounds that you might choose to tread to see yourself as a good leader. The 15 qualities of a good leader are listed below.
The first and foremost virtue of a good leader is that they should be ready to take responsibility for whatever decisions or strategies they are undertaking. Oftentimes it so happens that the leader is seen to blame their team’s malfunctioning and inefficiency. But that eventually points to their inability to lead their fellow beings. Accountability tops the list of 15 qualities of a good leader.
As the saying goes, “hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times,” replace “men” with persons and aim to be those strong people who have the ability to create good times. The world is looking forward to that.
2. Being a good communicator
Half of our everyday misunderstandings occur due to communication gaps. In his times, Asoka ensured flawless communication to his lower-level officials even instituted specific channels to carry forward his information.
Thus, you must be a good communicator in such cases. When Rome was falling apart after Caesar’s death, it was Brutus’ oratory skills that infused patriotism in the face of blatant betrayal in the minds of “friends, Romans, countrymen.” So, you see the huge impact that good communication can make in everyday life or tense situations.
You need to practice communication skills, learn how to choose suitable words that appeal to your listener. This is your way forward.
Good leaders listen to their counterparts as well as their subordinates. But in the end, it is they who are willing to take any decision and execute them. A confused mind can’t really make a good leader.
4. Clarity and transparency
Hiding information is the greatest fault that you can commit while leading a team. No matter how grave the situation is and how tense the information is, disclose it.
Keeping calm about the situation is then your work as a good leader. The clarity you provide them regarding your purpose makes them feel important. Clarity and transparency are the two things that you must ensure. These you should tick off from the 15 qualities of a good leader.
5. Decentralising abilities
Stop thinking of yourself to be Hercules. Trust your employees or your colleagues. Know when to start decentralizing powers and delegating specific tasks to them. This will make the work easy and less time-consuming. 15 qualities of a good leader can’t leave out on this point ever.
These, you can even say, are the top 5 characteristics of a good leader. Without these, it becomes hard to lead the person relying upon you.
Only preaching never makes a good leader. The 15 qualities of a good leader must have passion as one of them. If they see yourself working hard towards your goal, without grudge, rather lovingly, they will also impart that vibe within them. Your enthusiasm must infect your colleagues. Own your passion and vibe with it.
7. Integrity and humility
Often we ward off constructive criticism even when we claim to welcome them. Be open towards criticism, embrace it and work harder. At any given point in time, several people know something better than you. Your job is to keep your mind open to knowledge, be aware of your own limitations, maintain integrity, and achieve your goal.
Be the change that you want to see in others. Gandhi said this much before then the trending of corporate skills. Only if you can set an example before your peers can you establish yourself as a good leader. Be committed to what you do and never sit back.
Do you know what gets you going when all the bookish knowledge gets replenished? Your creative minds. Ignite your creativity to conquer the world. This is one mantra that all successful leaders follow and can never evade from the 15 qualities of a good leader.
10. Growth mindset
Adapting to unforeseen circumstances is a quality you can never place on your back foot. Situations might change suddenly in the middle of some project. But you cannot panic and leave the project astray. So, accept the challenge, activate your growth mindset, and achieve what you and your time had set your minds to.
11. Passion for knowing more
Learning is an unstoppable thing. You must always be willing to embark on quests for new knowledge. That helps to ward off monotony in your team. Also, you as a leader grow more efficiently as you keep yourself updated.
Unless you are not confident in your own shoes, you cannot really create new shoes. If you are not self-confident, your team members won’t be able to rely on you. The list of 15 qualities of a good leader can’t be complete without confidence.
13. Emotional Intelligence
Societal conditioning makes us see emotion as a sign of weakness, a rather “feminine” quality. But we tend to forget that this is something intrinsic to humans. Reading the psychology of your employee and studying their behavior makes you an empathetic person.
Honesty is the best policy. Well, this also makes its way into the 15 qualities of good leaders list. Be honest and never sugar-coat, even if the situation is hugely tense. That earns you credibility from your clients/colleagues,/subordinates.
Last but not least, in the list of 15 qualities of a good leader, your responsibility is to keep up the high spirits of our team. Be energetic, charming, and positive. It helps in keeping your team motivated.
7 leadership traits
Forbes has listed 7 leadership traits that you might choose to develop as part of your workspace routine in the post-Covid era. Pandemic has been a lesson that good leadership is a must in tough times, as for a country or an organization.
Sometimes even bad news creates good impulses rather than false good ones. Forbes listed the numerous numbers of deaths in America due to Covid. This, in turn, helped create necessary measures such a social distancing, hospital norms, etc. Reality leads to consensus, which is the most required at times of crisis than fake positivity.
2. Consistent communication
The Kerala government in India showed what communication could dispense darkness. Repeated press briefings coupled with factual data on new strategies undertaken helped to keep anxieties at bay.
Counseling can be one of the many jobs a leader might need to perform in times of need. Insensitive behaviors might lead to many grave unforeseen consequences that might not be very healthy for your workspace. Superficiality also doesn’t seem to work best in such environments. You need to touch your employee’s heart, even some kind of true words, and keep up the spirit of your employee.
4. Hybrid teams management
The whole workspace in corona times has shifted to our homes, our desks, and tables. Virtual offices have enhanced efficiency through creating extensive infrastructure virtually. Spaces are meant to be more collaborative now. Thus a good leader should be efficient in hybrid teams management. This is one of the essentialities in the list of 7 leadership traits. If all are not brought together, then there is a high chance that the workstreams might start falling apart.
Be flexible and adaptive with sudden and abrupt changes at work. Sticking to any already decision may not always be very favorable, even desirable. You must be ready to lay waste countless hours that you have spent in developing some policy. Also, it would help if you were flexible enough to change it within a short span of time drastically.
You cannot be a know-it-all person. At times you might have to take a step back and admit that you don’t know certain things but are willing to learn about them. That makes you a good leader.
7. Active listening
Listening is key to leading. It would help if you made your employees feel safe. After Covid, to keep yourself updated about the on-ground situations, you need to be all ears to grass-root problems. If you are detached from reality, you cannot make a good decision.
Thus, these 7 leadership traits have been cited as most essential in the post-covid work environment.
Great leaders and their qualities
We talked much about the soft skills you might have to acquire to be a good leader. Now let’s look at some glaring examples.
Bill Gates was known to be a demanding boss. But he encouraged innovations. Many professionals said that he often interrupted and also challenged assumptions. He was authoritarian but still inclusive of opinions.
Martin Luther King Junior was also authoritarian but was a people person. He gave the famous speech “I have a dream,” which instilled consciousness among his people. Being fearless was his famous trait. He was being arrested many times and then assassinated. But he was the champion of the art of being a perfect leader.
Winston Churchill, even though to the colonized, is known to be a ruthless egoist leader, but he was the need of the hour to the British Empire. While declaring the Second World War, he maintained his calm and spoke the truth while communicating with his audience. This speaking the truth doesn’t expropriate the leader from the mass. Public sympathy is gained. Bonds of the fraternity are created.
Dolly Parton was a singer. But she knew how to connect with the audience right from a tender age. She was forgiving and loving, three qualities that made her a good leader and an icon.
Walt Disney is the best example of the participative method of leadership. This is not authoritarian, rather more collaborative. Here you listen to your peers instead of dominating and overwhelming them. He was often seen as deeply imbued in the art he wanted to create, surrounded by several artists.
Arianna Huffington is the founder of the Huffington Post. In the former years of her career, she was obsessed with perfection. But then, suddenly, she started focussing more on life while parallel making Huffington Post what it is today. She also follows a collaborative way of leadership rather than dominating her colleagues and subordinates.
You see, most of the leaders that we talked about have different styles. But great leaders and their quality echo similar confidence and trust in their characters. Thus, these qualities even cater to the list of 5 characteristics of a good leader.
Improving your skills
You need to learn and practice this puzzle of being the best leader. Different situations might dictate your different leadership styles. So, just identify and choose anyone.
You need to introspect and find out your areas of core strength or weaknesses. Ask for feedback from your trusted circle. Then sit back and try and work upon them. The capacity to change oneself is the biggest virtue of life.
Setting goals is an effective way to enhance your leadership abilities. But those goals should be
- have a fixed timeline
You can even find a suitable mentor who can guide you through your hurdles.
So, if you are set to achieve something, run for it. It shouldn’t let you sleep at night. But at the same time, be a little patient. Be less harsh on yourself and try and follow the list of 15 qualities of a good leader; success won’t be too far!