Are you on the path to become a leader yourself? If yes, you need to acquire some Leadership qualities to grow in your professional ladder. There are some traits, characteristics, and strengths of a good leader that you must observe and take inspiration from.
Be it your own startup or handling large teams in the corporate world, a good leader will have to demonstrate some leadership qualities that everyone admires.
A leader is supposed to get things done. He has to balance out the situation, manage the pressure coming from senior management, and on the other hand, empathize with the situation of ground staff.
A good leader is one who possesses some key traits that everyone around will like to follow him.
I myself worked for globally renowned corporates like Vodafone, Citi, HDFC, and a few others. From Relationship Manager designation to senior leadership roles like Zonal Retail Head and Regional Head, I have handled the team size of 200+ members.
I saw this growth only because I was able to achieve my key deliverables (targets) month on month. Driving the teams as per your goals is not the easy task as per my own personal experience.
You have to change yourself a lot, learn new things in life as you grow and it is also a game of practice. The personality traits, characteristics, and skills you expired during your first assignment or job are not going to work when you get more responsibilities and bigger roles in life.
Be it a political leader or a corporate leader, most of these leadership qualities are important to touch the taste of success in life.
What Leadership Qualities a Great Leader has?
I will now discuss some inevitable and proven Leadership Qualities that you must adopt and practice to become a good Leader.
A successful leader as per my experience is the one who further makes successful leaders.
Quick Leadership Qualities list:
- Solution Seeker
- Integrity & Honesty
- Good Speaker
- Gives Due Credit
- Collective Approach
- Delegation and Empowerment
- Never Say Die Approach
- Supports Team Members
- Good Learner
- Inviting Ideas From Juniors
- Eye For Detail and Data-Driven Approach
I will now discuss all of them in detail [a few with examples as well] so that you understand the importance of all the qualities that I recommend for a leader to have.
Your teams and group members will come with a lot of problems. Someone who is not a leader today will eventually become if he will have a solution to each and every problem a group is facing.
My seniors always loved the managers who are good at managing the regions with minimum escalations and issues.
But, that doesn’t means that problem will not arise. Market is dynamic, there is a lot of technological change that is happening around. Not only that, your competition will not let you take a deep breath.
What will happen if a Leader will not be a Solution seeker?
Your junior team members are not as skilled as you are. If you can provide them the answers to their queries, they will start reaching out to you again and again.
That will honestly develop the acceptance of your leadership. If You will start ignoring them, they will find someone else to help them.
I remember a famous sayings regarding this.
“If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re apart of the problem.”African Proverb.
Integrity and Honesty
Do you want a leader to be a manipulator? Someone who is there for their own personal benefits?
The biggest quality of a leader is Integrity and Honesty. Both are a bit different terms but goes hand in hand.
Heard of this popular saying?
“Success will come and go but Integrity is forever”Forbes
As a leader, ask yourself, can you justify whatever you are doing publicly. Most importantly, will you be okay if someone else is doing the same act against you?
Leadership should follow the principals, best practices to set examples in front of teams and peers.
Remember, you are accountable for all shortcuts you take in your life.
First of all you a leader has to be a self-motivated person. But, that’s not all.
What will happen if a Leader will not be a good Motivator?
Being a leader, you are not only responsible for yourself. Driving everyone for a specific goal is your responsibility.
But, can you expect productivity for the shoulders which are down? NO.
It is the task of a leader to find out the level of energies in the team and reasons behind unproductively.
I will not relate it to productivity only, In fact, It is also about the “level of happiness” in the team.
You would have heard them saying:
“Happiness is a direction, not a place”
As a leader, you are there to give them direction. Keep them happy. Keep them motivated.
My experience on this: Half of the task, your team will do on their own, with out your involvement, if their energy levels are high.
As I said previously as well, Leadership is all about driving the group to a common goal.
What will happen if a Leader will not be a Good Speaker?
Effective communication is a must but if you are not a good speaker, this communication will not be as powerful as it should be.
People don’t like reading these days, but they enjoy listening to others. With “Good Speaker”, I don’t mean becoming a standup comedian who is there to crack jokes.
But, with Good Speaker term, I mean, someone who people can listen for hours without getting bored. Not only that, your audience should be able to relate to what you are saying.
If they admire you, they will follow you. This quality is most important for political leaders. However, senior corporate leaders also practice this.
Pro Tip: Whenever you speak, the content should always have some weight. It should be meaningful.
Ever heard of this?
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something”Plato
My take on this: Becoming a good speaker is an art. It helps you build your presence in front of large audience. Don't take this leadership skill lightly.
Can you see what others cannot see? If not, how you are better than them? In our day to day lives, we see our seniors sharing words of wisdom basis their experiences in life.
What will happen if a Leader will not be Far-Sighted?
A Leader if lacks behind in Far-Sightedness, he will not be able to fore-see the situation. Also, there will be difficult for him to compare actual performance vs planning. If, this quality will be there, they could easily gauge the risk before it arrives and saves all of us.
A leader is expected to lead and protect the group. Forget protection, Far-Sightedness is also required to stay ahead of the competition. Understanding the market realities and dynamics better than others is more of a science that a leader has to master.
The data drive approach [will discuss this later below] will help you understand the trends. Trends will help you make predictions.
What will happen tomorrow is different from what you expect to happen tomorrow!
In order to ensure the goals are met and you achieve your objective, you have to plan for the huddles before they arrive.
A far-sighted leader will surely do that.
How true this saying is.
“Knowing what must be done does away with fear.”Rosa Parks, civil rights activist”
Should leaders be transparent? Well, this is a tricky question to answer. There are times when your managers and situation will demand not to share the information with team.
But, in general, things which someone otherwise hides for his personal benefit, I must say, not at all appreciable.
At policy level, every role has a demand, you may be a political leader or a senior manager in your company, it is expected to keep certain things to yourself.
I think, if that is the demand of the situation, it is perfectly ok. But, if the things are not being discussed or downloaded for personal benefit, the leader is not worth the respect.
I saw a few seniors misrepresenting the facts to get the targets achieved, committing false appraisal commitment, even when they knew the company is not in the position.
But, for their own benefits and get the business done, they hide the facts.
What will happen if a leader will not be transparent?
He will loose out the trust of his followers, team members and juniors.
A leader should follow the quality of transparency with all stakeholders.
A popular saying about how important leadership quality “Transparency” is.
“I think the currency of leadership is transparency. You’ve got to be truthful. I don’t think you should be vulnerable every day, but there are moments where you’ve got to share your soul and conscience with people and show them who you are, and not be afraid of it.”Howard Schultz
Key Strengths of Good Leader
For me, the key strengths of a good leaders are: Someone who has:
- Ability to Influence others,
- Show the path of growth to team members,
- Drive them to follow it, and
- Help others become good leaders.
This reminds of a conversation that my boss always used to do during the appraisals. Whenever I used to discuss my growth path, he used to say –
“Vishesh, you will grow only when you will prepare your replacement. When someone in your team is groomed by you to take your place, you will automatically get a better role”