Before we explore the nuances of effective leadership, it is worth ensuring we are all on the same page about what a leader is because there are many ways to define leadership.
A leader, in general, is someone who inspires others to take action toward achieving a common objective.
A good leader motivates others to do something greater than themselves. They collaborate to achieve critical goals. They combine their talents and resources to accomplish great things. Excellent leaders assist their team members in becoming the most refined versions of themselves.
A leader is not the same as an organizer. An organizer collects resources and distributes them in the most efficient way possible. Although organizers bring people together, they do not motivate them to do significant, daring actions.
Organizers are concerned with efficiency, whereas leaders are concerned with vision.
What qualities and abilities distinguish a good leader?
Here are seven high-level qualities to consider:
- Vision. A good leader has a clear idea of where they want to go and how they plan to get there. They clearly understand where they are now and what it will take to get them to where they want to go. This vision must be adequately communicated to the team by the leader.
- Motivation. Motivating others is a critical talent for a good leader. They understand what makes people tick and can tap into those emotional impulses. They can urge individuals to accomplish things they may not otherwise do.
- Service. Leaders who serve their people are usually the most effective. They strive to serve and maximize the effectiveness of their team. Rather than continuously focusing on their agenda and what they want to accomplish, they help other team members in whatever manner they can.
- Empathy. A leader must be able to put himself in other people’s shoes. They must be able to recognize and effectively respond to the concerns of others if they wish to build consensus within their team.
- Creativity. When it comes to reaching their goals, the highly effective leader is inventive. They utilize their imagination to see what’s genuinely possible beyond what’s right in front of them. They can see how they can best use the abilities of their followers for the greatest good.
- Demanding. The most effective leaders expect the best from their employees. They don’t accept substandard outcomes or haphazard attempts. Instead, they lead by example in enthusiastic work, and they want their staff to follow suit.
- Management. Leaders must be able to manage their subordinates. They must be able to lead their team through complicated procedures in a strategic manner, successfully resolve difficulties, and marshal their team’s resources for the greatest good.
None of these qualities alone are enough to produce a successful leader. Some, if not all, of these traits are present in the most exemplary leaders.
They can be both innovative and demanding. They can efficiently manage while exhibiting empathy for their coworkers. They can impart vision while also assisting their people.
It’s critical to realize that leadership isn’t defined by a particular position, title, or personal characteristics. You’re not a leader just because you’re an executive. Having the corner office does not imply that you are a good leader. You are not a leader just because you have a captivating personality.
The good news is that leadership does not come naturally. Instead, it’s something you develop with practice over time. And you have the potential to become a better leader than you are now.
If you aren’t a successful leader right now, you can improve and become one. You may develop the abilities and practices to make you a great leader.
In the second part of this series, we’ll look at some of the most critical leadership concepts.