By Jayaram V
Summary: This essay is about what makes
good leaders, and seven important abilities or qualities which
lead to excellence in leadership
Leadership calls for courage, determination and an adaptive mindset.
Leaders require strength, grit and humility to persevere, inspire
and lead others. More often, they have to lead themselves and others
on perilous paths and through uncharted territories to accomplish
their goals. Biologically, leadership is an offshoot of the natural
instinct, which is common to both humans and animals, to improves
their chances of survival. Animals also choose their leaders. Human
beings follow a similar, but more complicated process.
Leaders are all not alike. There are personality issues and cultural,
social and other factors which influence their leadership styles,
character and behavior. However, no leader is born, but made by
circumstances and self-effort. What distinguishes true leaders?
What puts them in a separate category as examples of excellence
in leadership? How do they succeed in leading people to achieve
common goals or realize an inspired or impossible vision? Leadership
is required in all fields and in all aspects of life.
Leadership is more a function than a status symbol or a position
of authority. Everyone performs leadership functions as a part of
oneï¿½s survival and success, although many may not be even aware
of it. It also becomes a necessity for many people in challenging
times to overcome their hardships and realize their goals and dreams.
What qualities do they possess, which make them extraordinary and
exceptional? In order to be a great leader, certain qualities are
very necessary. The following are a few important ones.
1. Clear vision
Good leaders are driven by a clear vision. They know what they
want to achieve, where they want to go and by what means. They are
driven by clear purpose and mission. Because of that, they are able
to formulate right goals and right strategies and gather right resources
to fulfill their mission. Most people are driven by desires, goals,
plans and even fears, but leaders are clearly driven by a defining
and purposeful vision.
to take risks
True leaders do not hesitate to take risks or go where no one
has gone before. They are good decision makers who possess strength
and courage to risks and explore various alternatives to accomplish
their tasks. Most of them are also heralders of change and practice
transformative leadership, which often require great sacrifices
from them and the prospects of failure, difficulties and strong
opposition from those who resist change.
True leaders are purpose driven. They remain focused upon their
mission until they achieve it. They are committed and determined
and persevere in their effort, going the extra mile, anticipating
problems, preparing for contingencies, learning from failures and
setbacks, adapting to situations and forging strong relationships
and alliances whenever necessary. Their determination is a source
of strength and inspiration to others.
4. Help others
Good leaders know that leadership is not a status symbol or a
means only to gain personal power, wealth or dominance over others,
but a great obligation to lead others in the right direction and
accomplish the tasks for which it is meant. Therefore, they possess
a caring and nurturing attitude, treating others with respect and
consideration, and helping them wherever possible, sometime at the
expense of their own interests.
5. Take responsibility
Good leaders are not afraid to account for their actions or accept
blame for them if necessary. They do not find scapegoats, avoid
criticism or delegate their basic duties to others so that they
can shift the blame. They are always willing to assume responsibility
for the actions and the actions of those who act in good trust according
to their instructions or guidance. When things go wrong, they may
seek forgiveness, but do not evade accountability or consequences.
Leadership requires a special mindset, purpose driven attitude
and inspiring personality. Good leaders lead by personal example.
They possess pleasing personalities and know how to exert personal
influence over their people, by appealing to their positive emotions
and lead them in the desired direction. They also possess an understanding
of human psychology. Hence, they make good use of their interpersonal
skills, and emotional and social intelligence. They also know how
to resolve conflicts and differences of opinion among their followers
and build their unity and morale.
Leaders are human beings with the usual flaws and drawbacks.
We have many leaders in various fields who are essentially psychopaths.
They do succeed in the careers and professions, but the people who
work for them or deal with them know who they are and the problems
they create. Despite these instances, character and integrity are
still important in leadership and those who possess them are remembered
better than those who lack them. True leaders abide in good principles
and stick with them despite the problems they face from those who
Everyone is a leader in some way. In your normal and routine
life, you perform many leadership functions, when you help others,
guide them or lead them to achieve common goals or goals that are
imperative to your success and wellbeing. Being a good leader requires
effort, discipline and vision. By knowing what distinguishes true
leaders, you can learn from them and improve your leadership qualities.
Jayaram V is Founder President of Hinduwebsite.com and author
of 14 books including Think Success and Being the Best. For
more information about Jayaram and his works, you may
visit the author's website.