Leaders are the key people aka the decision makers and they are present everywhere. In our community, the organisation we work in and the country we reside in. They are the ones who make tough decisions to lead and guide in the best way possible, ultimately shaping the culture and rules overall.
In this context, we are talking about leadership in a business setting. It is the art of inspiring and motivating people while simultaneously directing them to act towards achieving a common goal. While we are usually quick to identify a bad leader, how do we identify a good one?
Here are the top 9 qualities of a great leader:
A visionary leader is far-sighted and driven by the potential of a company, what it can possibly become. He/ she is inspired to work hard for the greater good of the company and is adaptable to change. Keeping the vision in mind and motivating everyone to stay invested in the whole journey is what a visionary leader does. He/ she is a risk taker and dares to make unconventional decisions.
This is an important fundamental that every great leader must possess because integrity fosters trust. It forms the foundation of great leadership and irregardless of circumstances, he/ she will not compromise principles and always chooses to make decisions for the greater good of the organisation. This is necessary to ensure continued organisational success.
A great leader knows how to delegate wisely and effectively, making the best use of his resources and every employee’s talents. As he/ she is the key decision maker in the organisation, he/ she is the busiest person. Therefore effective delegation is crucial to maximising productivity and overall business performance. Knowing when and how to delegate gives them time for their more important work.
This trait is naturally found in great leaders because they know their own talents and strengths. They are very sure about their competencies and leadership qualities. They are people who are comfortable in their own skin and never let negative situations or remarks affect their pursuit in achieving the vision.
Confidence is critical to help them make informed decisions quickly and solve problems. They take full accountability without passing the blame to others, ignoring issues or procrastinating.
Being humble is different from having an inferiority complex. Humility is thinking of yourself in a less important perspective but still have absolute confidence whereas inferiority complex is lack of self confidence and self esteem. Often overlooked, this is actually one of the essential qualities of a great leader.
Humble leadership aka servant leadership simply means leading the team to transform and not control or dominate, having the humility to learn from others who have less power than them and actively seek the employees’ ideas or contributions.
Great leaders are excellent communicators. They know how to put across their message and choose the right words to suit the situation, giving others the opportunity and freedom to express their ideas and thoughts. They listen to others with attention and sincerity, seeking to understand and value their perspectives. They are conscious of others’ behaviour and learn from them.
They persevere and give clear directions even in adverse circumstances. They know how to handle volatile and disruptive situations. They are capable of keeping their emotions in check and overcome several challenges without engaging in destructive behaviour or hurting others. Resilient leaders always choose to move forward because they know breakthrough will only come from moving forward.
8. Problem-Solving Skills
They are equipped with innovative thinking and decisive analysis skills to create solutions and make informed decisions quickly. They have an innate ability to identify and define problems, perform an insightful analysis with data given and communicate in layman terms to solve the issues. They never avoid or shy away from problems, rather they take problems as a stepping stone for improvement.
Great leaders are highly passionate about their goals and objectives. They know what they want and what they need to do to achieve them. They inspire and motivate others to do the same, ensuring the employees commit to the vision, thereby increasing productivity and helping to achieve the vision.
In summary, nobody starts off as a great leader in the beginning. It is only through experience that this skill set is honed better. It is a continuous process of improving oneself which paves the way for possessing these qualities and more.