Someone once said that leaders are born not made. Though I do agree that some people possess inherent qualities that make them natural leaders, I do believe that through training, hard work, commitment etc one can become a good leader. I was in my church’s leadership team for a period of time and I learnt a lot about what it takes to be a good leader. I do believe that it takes a lot more to become a great leader. No great leader is made in a day. It’s a process of going through trials, tribulations, troubles, difficulty, failures, success etc. As an individual, there are some experiences you would have gone through in life to make you into the great leader you are today.
Here are the qualities I believe a great leader will possess:
- A great leader is a person of honourable and blameless character, and high moral values. They have a good reputation both in the workplace and among acquaintances, family and friends. They are reliable and dependable. Their word is their bond. They command the respect and trust from others and are a source of inspiration for those they lead.
- A great leader is passionate. They are dedicated to their work and goals. And their passion and enthusiasm attracts/draws people to work with the same fervour and motivation.
- A great leader is able to handle pressure and crisis. They do not fall apart under pressure, but are able to ride the storm with confidence and are able to rally the troops to victory. He remains constant and calm in the midst of storms and troubles and is able to provide solutions without castigating or blaming. He/she is able to take full responsibility for any failure in his team, even if he/she was not directly involved.
- Great leaders are excellent communicators. They are able to communicate their vision to the people so that they can run with it. They take time to make sure the people fully understand the details and entertain questions from the doubtful without becoming antagonistic. He knows what his future is and inspires his people to get there.
- A great leader is a person of excellence. The great leader produces outstanding results and to the highest level of quality. ‘Good’ is not good enough, his work always surpasses ordinary standards. They takes delight in ensuring that everything is done with excellence.
- Great Leaders learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. Everyone makes mistakes, including those in authority. But what makes a person different from others is the way they deal with it. Great leaders experience mistakes, learn from mistakes and move on from mistakes and try as much as possible not to repeat mistakes.
- A great leader is a great listener. He knows that he needs people, and that people can help him to achieve his goals. He makes sure that he is attentive to those under his authority and listens to their concerns, as they are his eyes and ears in the organisation. He is not intimidated by the talents of others. They recognise that wisdom and knowledge are gained not by talking but by listening and that you can gain so much by listening to the others perspective. Great leaders understand that they may not know it all, and may not have all the answers and that solutions may come from someone else. Because they know that when you value people’s concerns there is greater participation and involvement.
- Great leaders delegate. Great leaders know that they cannot do it all, so they know how to designate positions to people according to ability and talent.
- Great leaders inspire greatness in others. Great leaders are not intimidated by the talents of others but are dedicated to empowering others to achieve greatness as well for the next generation. They understand that they are not immortal and that the work must continue even if they are not there.
Are there any other qualities you believe a leader should possess? Please leave your comments down below.