Traits/Qualities of Good Leadership
As we look, leadership is the ability to inspire and influence other behaviors. It is the ability to motivate others to accomplish pre-determined objectives. For this, a good leader must possess a number of leadership qualities, traits, and skills.
A leader is one who does and shows the way how to do work to his team members. But I like the way John Quincy Adams says, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, and become more, you are a leader”.
Organizational performance totally depends upon the ability of the manager. A manager is a leader of his middle and lower-level managers. There must be leadership qualities in the manager to produce a tremendous impact on subordinate’s performance and behavior.
Here, we look at 16 leadership qualities that make good leaders and that is necessary for the success of the organization. To become a great leader, he must have good personal qualities and managerial qualities too.
Top 16 Leadership Qualities That Define A Good Leader
- Physical Fitness
- Self Confidence
- Vision and Foresight
- Sense of Responsibility
- Human Character
- Optimistic Outlook
- Flexible Attitude
- Technical Knowledge
- A Moderate State of Mind (Patience)
- Organizing Ability
- Motivation and Communication Skills
- Human Relation Expert
- Wider Perspective
- Ability To Judgement
- Knowledge of Psychology (Empathy)
Here, we look at these leadership qualities in two ways, first is the personal qualities of a leader and second is the managerial qualities of a leader.
8 Important Personal Qualities of a Leader
#1 Physical Fitness
Physical fitness is the physical outlook of a leader. A leader must be a physically sound person. He should be impressive in outlook. Only a healthy and fit person can proceed to his job with full energy and effort. A physically fit leader can increase his mental stamina that is a must for an effective leader.
#2 Self Confidence
Self-confidence is a surety in own decision and action. A leader must have confidence in any kind of work he is doing. He should have knowledge about the outcomes of decision and activities.
As a leader, he has to guide and lead the subordinates along with the most enthusiastic lines of action. Thus, he has to take decisions on his own showing the subordinates that he has the capacity to do things better.
Intelligence is the mental trait of a leader. A leader must have the ability to deal with complex and difficult types of problems and situations in a confident manner.
A leader should have the ability to study, analyze and make decisions confidently. He should never be confused when any new or complex problems arise in the organization. He has to solve all kinds of problems through logical analysis and study.
#4 Vision and Foresight
A leader must have the capacity to translate his vision into in front of his subordinates i.e. reality. This skill of a leader is a must to get to the destination i.e. to achieve goals. A leader must have vision and foresight on how to begin the work and how to achieve planned objectives.
For this, he has to prepare plans, policies, procedures in a systematic manner. He has to lead the subordinates by providing proper guidance and instructions so that the goals may be achieved in the future.
This leadership skill emphasizes a leader must be a responsible person. He must feel morally responsible for each and every activity, that is done within his supervision. He should not blame his subordinates on behalf of whole mistakes.
Generally, a leader performs all kinds of works with the support of his subordinates and in the course of works, mistakes may happen. And, it is the moral responsibility of the leader to own up such mistakes.
#6 Human Character
First, a leader must be a man of human character. He should possess leadership traits like honesty, loyalty, self-discipline, and devotion towards the organization. These characters of a leader set an example among subordinates and the latter can also develop their character by taking their leaders as a symbolic figure.
A leader having such traits can easily encourage and inspire his subordinates to carry out performance in accordance with his instructions and guidance.
#7 Optimistic Outlook
A leader needs to be an optimist, not a pessimist. He must have the quality to take initiation with confidence in difficult situations. He must have the ability to face the worst conditions with courage and will power.
An optimist leader can lead the subordinates in a confident manner and can carry out organizational objectives smoothly and efficiently. Thus, an optimistic outlook of a leader leads the subordinates in attaining common goals.
#8 Flexible Attitude
As Lao-Tzu said, a tree that is unbending, is easily broken.
A leader must be flexible or dynamic. It is well known that the social environment is changeable according to time. A successful leader has to adjust himself to the changing environment.
To be adjustable, he has to modify himself according to the time and situation. In some situations, he has to modify his decisions and has to accept the information and suggestions of subordinates to take a correct decision.
8 Important Managerial Qualities of a Leader
Besides, personal qualities, a leader must have leadership qualities or skills about various functions of the organization. And, that is a must for success at the workplace.
#1 Technical Knowledge
A manager must have basic technical knowledge of all the activities done in the organization. It is only an expert leader who can technically guide the subordinates towards the most efficient completion of assigned jobs.
Besides, he must have the ability to convince subordinates about his knowledge and impart suitable guidance to them. Thus, technical knowledge is necessary to make the right decision at the right time.
#2 A Moderate State of Mind (Patience)
This leadership skill of a leader emphasizes maintaining patience while taking any decision. A leader is a decision-maker and, he must have a moderate state of mind. It is essential to come to a rational decision that should be free from bias and emotions. A leader must be patient while taking decisions. He must have the ability to identify the impact of his decisions.
#3 Organizing Ability
This leadership trait focuses on the organizing ability of the leader. He should have the ability to arrange physical facilities and modern technology on the basis of requirement. He has to establish well defined productive relations among all the subordinates. He has to take care to maintain coordination among the employees. This is essential to maximize output within minimum cost and effort.
#4 Motivation and Communication Skill
These leadership skills are a must to trigger and for the efficient flow of information to the subordinates.
A successful leader must possess motivating skills. He must have the ability to induce the subordinates to gain maximum effort from them. For this, he must have knowledge about the needs and requirements of his subordinates and must apply appropriate motivational tools at the right time.
A leader also must have communication skills to maintain up-to-date relations with subordinates and with other authorities. He must ensure the maintenance of an open and two-way communication system within the organization.
#5 Human Relation Expert
A successful leader is one who is an expert in human relations. He has to deal with various parties of the organizations like customers, visitors, subordinates, suppliers, shareholders, etc. Thus, he must develop a good human relation ability through all possible means known to him. He has to deal in a polite and friendly way with his subordinates. He should never come into emotion even if there is any unexpected behavior from others.
#6 Wider Perspective
A leader must have a wide vision. He must have the ability to carry out organizational activities in accordance with plan and system. He has to measure whether the group’s performance is going in accordance with the organizational setting or not.
Thus, over-concentration on the performance of a particular work-group must be avoided. He has to manage the organizational performance by keeping in view the broad outlook of objectives.
#7 Ability To Judgement
A successful leader must have the ability to maintain impartiality and judgment. He has to make various types of decisions in different situations. Thus, he must have the ability to take the right decision at the right time. While making any decision he must avoid the feeling of close relation, friendship, favoritism, etc. He has to decide matters only by considering organizational objectives.
#8 Knowledge of Psychology (Empathy)
As a head figure of the organization, a manager has to have psychological knowledge. He must possess leadership traits of empathy, sociability, knowledge of the self, and knowledge of subordinates.
Empathy implies the ability to place oneself in the position of subordinates. A leader must place himself in the position of subordinates and decides matters by considering their viewpoint. He must have the skill to mix up with subordinates and treat himself as a part of them. So, an efficient leader must have knowledge about psychology.
Thus, a successful leader is one who possesses all these leadership qualities, skills, and traits and successfully applies them towards subordinates for the achievement of planned goals.