The Qualities of a Good Leader ! Essay

Leadership is a quality which cannot be acquired by any person from the other but it can be acquired by self-determination of a person. Leadership can best be called the personality of the very highest ability-whether in ruling, thinking, imagining, innovation, warring, or religious influencing.

Introduction

Leadership is a quality hidden in the personality of a human being. Human personality is very complex and it is very difficult to grade individuals according to one’s personality. Leadership, on the other hand, depends on the organic structure of the personality which includes experience, skill, responsibility, intelligence, power of organizing people and social interaction. Leadership is an indispensable activity, which every leader has tap perform for directing the people, working under him. It is the ability of the Leader to induce subordinates to work with confidence and zeal. In other words "Leadership is the process by which an leader imaginatively directs, guides and influence the work of others in choosing and attaining specified goals by  mediating between the individuals and the organisation in such as manner, that both will obtain maximum satisfaction.

Mental Strength

Some people have a misconception that only those people who are physically strong can become good leaders, but this is not the fact. A leader may not be physically strong but he needs to be mentally strong and firm in decisions. For example, Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation was the greatest leader but he was active and had a firm desire to serve the Nation. He had the power of organizing and uniting people and attracting people towards him by his speeches. This is the best quality of a leader which he had in him. We can also say that, a person who can satisfy the basic psychological needs of his followers can also be an effective leader.

Leadership is a quality which cannot be acquired by any person from the other but it can be acquired by self-determination of a person. Leadership can best be called the personality of the very highest ability-whether in ruling, thinking, imagining, innovation, warring, or religious influencing.

Leadership classification

Leader can be classified according to their work. For example, those who are related to politics are the political leader, those officers who are related to the profession of Army or Police are the leaders of their respective fields. In fact leadership is the most important quality required in a political leader and equally in Army and Police Officers because the future and security of the county lies in their hands, so they should properly use their power and be always attentive so that any enemies whether within or from outside country can not cause any harm or damage to the Nation.

Intelligence and Alertness

The most important quality which a leader should possess is intelligence and alertness. A leader has to use his/her brain every time and also has to remain   alert with  eyes and ears open otherwise he/she could easily be carried by any fraud or enemy. Many a times we see such situations around us, where a person in trouble or problem doesn’t hesitate in blaming and embarrassing even his closest friend to save himself, and also does not bother about his friends at all because the person has to get rid of his problems anyhow. So, he just thinks about himself and his life,  the life of other does not matter to him much. Almost all of us are having one or more such close friends, so a leader should always keep in mind that he should not trust even his closest friends more than required as it can create problems for him.

At the time of war, an Army Officer who leads his soldiers as to apply his brain every second and has to be attentive while marching ahead. A Police Officer has to be attentive always while he is at work as his duty is to control crime and provide safety to the people. The political leader of a county should be most intelligent as the security of not only few people but of the whole nation depends in him in one way or the other. Therefore, we can say intelligence and alertness are the indispensable qualities of a leader. As for example, one of the greatest leader of his time, Winston Churchill could win the Second World War just by applying his brain and his alertness.

Action Oriented approach

The other qualities of a leader include impartiality,action-oriented approach and positive attitude. A good leader should always be impartial towards all his followers, because the moment he becomes partial, he no longer remains a leader as he loses the confidence of others. The duty of a leader is to encourage and raise the standard of all his followers and not just a few of them, and he should always remember his duty.

Further, a leader should be action-oriented. A single leader cannot do every work by himself, so he needs help of others for doing all his constructive works. A leader should be effective enough towards himself and encourages everyone through his words to do constructive work while walking on a right path so that everyone in this country can become aware of his/her rights as well as duties and can provide his/her help in the development of the country. In our country, the constitution has given us the right of democracy through which everyone whether a beggar or the President has been given the right to choose a leader. Everyone wants his leader to be effective, intelligent, active, and action-oriented who can encourages the masses and do the needful for his people and his area. Some of the great action-oriented leaders were Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subash Chandra Bose, Indira Gandhi,Abraham Lincoln who succeeded in attracting  the masses towards themselves through their speeches and encouraging people to work for their county and thus they succeeded in registering their name in history forever. Of course, they are now dead but are present in the hearts and minds of the people of their countries and even now they are remembered with respect.

Optimist perspective

A leader should also be an optimist having a positive attitude. he should not think negatively or plan something showing negative attitude. A person who thinks or plans something's showing his negative attitude never be a Leader. A leader should always be courageous. He should have courage to face the troubles or problems and solving the problems by himself  in place of blaming and embarrassing others. Cowards, who at the time of facing problems or troubles in their life try to blame and embarrass others can never succeed in their life. Such person remain at the same place where they stood in the beginning. To  gain height and achieve something, one should come out of cowardness, jealousy and should become innovative, courageous, action-oriented and optimist. A good leader has all these qualities in him.

To elaborate further the qualities of a good leader there are three theories of leadership  and these are (a) trait theory (b) behavioral theory and (c) situation theory. The first approach (trait theory) views leadership as a conglomeration of a set of personality traits. The older tradition in these studies of leadership has been the search for a cluster of traits, attributes or other types of individual difference, which see leaders apart from their followers or which distinguish effective leaders from ineffective ones. A good leader, as it found more often, is a good teacher. Instead of bossing his followers or group members – a good leader always helps them through experience that brings a changed mind and motive.

Conclusion

Finally, a good leader must be faithful to his group members and activities. This in turn, will result in an atmosphere of assurance among the followers. Having faith in self abilities and the world around him/her the leader gains inspiration and also inspires others in the process.

by

Purnima Padmasna
Elaborate and Edited by Users

Leadership Attributes

Some important Facts

In this world, there are two types of people. One type is known as the leaders, and the other as followers. One needs to decide whether he wants to be a followers or a leader, well, the compensation for the both differs, the follower cannot reasonably expect the compensation to which a  leader is entitled, although many followers make the mistake of expecting such pay. Broadly speaking, on one hand  it is no disgrace to be a follower and on the other hand, it is nor credit to remain a follower for very long. Not all followers can become leaders. For becoming a good leader one needs to poses leadership qualities.

The Major Attributes of Leadership

The following are the major attributes of leadership:

Infinite Courage : In fact, no follower will like to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence, courage and wisdom. No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader for very long.

Self Control : The person who controls self rules others ! The man who can't control himself can never control others. In fact, self-control sets a mighty example for one's followers, which the  more intelligent will emulate.

Sense of Justice : Without a sense off fairness and justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of his followers.

Decision Making : The man who wavers in his decision, shows that he is not sure of himself, cannot lead others successfully.

Planning : The successful leader must plan his work and work his plan. A leader who moves by guesswork, without practical, definite plans, is comparable to a ship without a rudder.  Sooner of later he will land on the rocks.

Doing More : One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of the leader, to do more than he requires of his followers.
Pleasing Personality :
Leaderships calls for respect. A person without a good and pleasing personality will not be respected by his followers for very long. Well, personality can be defined as the complex of all the attributes--behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental--that characterize a unique individual and without it, a person can neither become a intelligent followers nor a good leader.

Sympathy : The word sympathy can be best defined as sharing the feelings of others (especially feelings of sorrow or anguish). The successful leader must be in sympathy with his followers. Moreover, he must understand them and their problems.

Responsibility : The person who wants to be a leader must develop the quality of taking responsibility.  With responsibility comes power. A leader is assumed to be responsible for the mistakes and the shortcomings of his followers. If he tries to shift the responsibility, he will not remain the leader.

Cooperation : Without good co-operation and coordination no organized plan could be executed. Thus a successful leader must understand and apply the principles of cooperative efforts and be able to induce his followers to do the same. Leadership calls for power, and power calls for cooperation.

Classification of Leadership

Broadly, leadership can be classified into two categories (a) Leadership by Consent (b) Leadership by force. The former, and by far the most effective, is leadership by consent of, and with the sympathy of the followers. The later is leadership by force without the consent and sympathy of the followers. History is filled with evidence that leadership by force cannot endure. The downfall and disappearance of dictators and kings is significant. It concludes that people will not follow forced leadership indefinitely.

The Ten Major Causes of Failure in Leadership

Inability to Organize details:

A good leader is supposed to be a person with immerse power of organizing things in much better way than his followers. The successful lead must be the master of all details connected with his position.  That means, of course, that he must acquire the habit of relegating details to capable lieutenants.

Unwillingness to render humble services:

The greatest among ye all shall be the servant of all' is a truth which all able leaders observe and respect. A leader should always be ready to do the act, upon demand, which he intends to be done by his followers.

Expectation of pay for what they 'know' instead of what they do with that which they know:

A person is not paid for what he knows but for what he does. A leader must understand and implement this theory in his day to day activities.

Fear of competition from followers:

A leader should never fear that one day his followers may take his position. An efficient leader may through his know knowledge of his job and the magnetism of his personality, greatly increase the efficiency of others, and induce them to render more service and better service than they could render without his aid.

Lack of imagination:

Imagination can be defined as the formation of a mental image of something that is not perceived as real and is not present to the senses. Without imagination, the leader is incapable of meeting emergencies, and of creating plans by which to guide his followers effectively.

Selfishness:

Selfishness is evil. A leader should not claim all the honor for the works of his followers. He is contented to see the honors, when there are any, go to his followers, because he knows that most men will work harder for commendation and recognition than they will for money alone.

Intemperance:

What is Intemperance ? Well, it is the quality of being intemperate. Followers don't respect an intemperate leader. Moreover, intemperance in any of its various forms, destroys the endurance and the vitality of all who indulge in it.

Disloyalty:

The leader who is not loyal to his trust, and to his associates, those above him, and those below him, cannot long maintain his leadership. Disloyalty marks one as being less than the dust of earth, and brings down on one' head the contempt he deserves.

Authority:

A good leader should poses the power of authority by consent and not by force. The leader who tires to impress his followers with his "authority" comes within the category of leadership, through force.

Emphasis of title

In fact, the competent leader requires no 'title' to give him the respect of his followers. The man who makes too much over his title generally has little else to emphasize.

Things a leader needs to do

A leader gets things done through other people. Although people differ from one another physically and psychologically, they are all governed by certain basic needs. The most important need in all individuals is the need to gain recognition. A leader who can satisfy this need will have no difficulty in influencing people, and getting done the job in hand. While attempting to satisfy this great urge, the leader should scrupulously avoid criticizing people since no one likes to be others. On the positive side, the has to give hearty, generous and sincere appreciation. If one takes the trouble, one can always discover something or the other in an individual for which real appreciation can be expressed.

Next, the leader, in order to get willing cooperation, has to look at things from the other person's point of view. He has to see what the other person wants rather than what he himself is interested in.

People, as a rule and by nature, are interested in themselves. Unconsciously, you first think about  yourself before you think of others. In a self first. The word most used during any conversation is the single lettered 'I'. When you open a magazine to which you have contributed, you first start reading your own article, although you might already be knowing every word of it by heart.

A leader must, therefore, assiduously cultivate the habit of playing down the 'I' and playing up the 'YOU'. Prove to the them. You don't have to spend money, much time or effort on this. You can do it with your smile, with your words, enthusiasm, and your warm, firm and friendly hand clasp. Be considerate, courteous and helpful to others. Be sympathetic and treat others as you would like to be treated by them. Concentrate on what you can do for others and you will find this approach working wonders. People will vie with one another to do things for you, without your ever asking for it.

Talk about others and especially their good points. If you keep talking about yourself, you will soon tire others and soon they will start avoiding you as a bore. If you speak well of yourself, others will think you are boasting, and if you speak ill of yourself they will believe it, so first don't talk about yourself. Instead, try talking about the other individual and his interests. Encourage him to speak about himself. "Appreciation makes people feel more important than anything else you can give them." You have to search and see what is there in him. It will compel you to recognize this importance. We don't have to wait till someone does something for us to show our appreciation. We can begin it at any time and place. All we have to do is to start looking for things in people to appreciate them.

You want that people should admire you and recognize your merits. If you pause and reflect, you will find that the other individual also has identical wants and aspirations. Therefore, if you are selfish and try to project only your own requirements, you will soon find others avoiding you. They would be reluctant to listen to you or meet your requirements. You must, therefore, go all the way and meet their requirements. Very soon, you will notice the other individuals paying attention to your needs and doing things automatically the way you would like them to be done.

If you want to lead and influence others, you have to put yourself out to do things for them. You have to spend time, energy and effort to satisfy the needs of others. For instance, you have to remember faces and names. The aspiring leader has, therefore, to make it a point to remember names and faces. While addressing letters, you must spell the name and initials correctly and include the full decoration, if any. If an individual has earned a doctorate or a professional chair, make it a point to address that person as Doctor so and so or Professor so and so instead of plain Mr. or Mrs. or Miss. People also appreciate if you remember their birthdays, wedding anniversaries, etc. The efforts you make to remember such seemingly trivial points and act on them will yield rich dividends.

Encourage people to talk about themselves. Be an enthusiastic and encouraging listener and pay rapt attention to what other say. Ask them for more details in areas where they display great interest. Question them abut the reasons for their success, for their mastery, for their special skills and for their prosperity. Learn about their hobbies, preferences, likes and dislikes. The more you know about an individual, the easier it will be for you to satisfy his requirements and motivate him in the direction in which you want him to go.

Next to taking interest in the other person's activities and looking at things from his angle, motivation can be brought about by the first impression you make on him. In creating this first favorable impression, nothing proves so effective as a warm and cheerful smile. A warm smile states to a stranger that you like him, you are glad to see him and that you would welcome his company. You would have noticed among your circle of friends that the individual who has a natural smile on his face is the one who is most sought after. You notice a particular charm in a lady, who has a pleasant and cheerful smile all the time on her face. Your smile has to be sincere. If it is artificial, if it is only put on for the occasion, very soon it will fade away from your face. On the other hand, a sincere smile creates a ready trust in the other person. If you do not have a natural smile, you can cultivate it by careful training and also developing the right mental attitude.

View things optimistically. Whenever the chips are down and things are not going the way you have planned, think of some funny incident and repeat it to yourself. The sunshine will come up soon. Also do not reserve your smiles only for strangers. Smile naturally and freely with every individual whom you come across. Let this part of smiling sincerely become a regular habit with you. You will be surprised to see the impact that a warm and genuine smile can create. People will suddenly sit up and take notice of you. All doors will be open and you will be welcome everywhere. People will go out of their way to seek your company because you bring joy to them. On the other hand, a grim face makes you look too serious.

What is more, the smile has a way of influencing your mental attitude. You feel a happier man by wearing a smile on your face. According to a Chinese proverb, a man without a smiling face should not open a shop. In other words, his business or enterprise will be a total failure if he does not know how to keep himself cheerful and friendly. Not only should he feel friendly and cheerful, he should also readily demonstrate it and show it to theirs by his disarming, charming and welcome smile. Frank Irvin Fletcher has described the value of a smile at Christmas in the following words:

It costs nothing, but creates much.

It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.

It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

None are so rich they can get along without it, and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.

It creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in a business and is the countersign of friends.

It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad and nature's best antidote for trouble.

Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.

And if in the last-minute rush of Christmas buying some of our sales people should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours.

Thus, the first step in the technique of motivating others is to begin with yourself taking a keen interest in them and winning their hearts through a genuine, warm and charming smile.