Leadership, defining it and then explaining its qualities, can fill volumes of books. It has been a primary topic for management behavior for decades, and there appears to be a new slant on leadership style every time a blog is posted. People can discuss back and forth what a leader is and how this person ought to behave.
Looking at the idea of how to be a leader, there are some bedrock qualities which must be found in that person. There are six key characteristics which every leader should have to be successful in motivating people and achieving corporate goals.
This is a motivator that doesn’t cost any money at all. Leaders who have a passion for what they are doing create the energy necessary to meet the goals and objectives required to succeed. The vision of a leader is always necessary, and a passion for that vision is going to excite other people to follow it as well.
Sometimes goals are very easily reached, and other times this doesn’t happen. Achieving given objectives can become a walk in deep snow; it is not easy, but you must keep trudging along to survive. What is important is not to give in. A leader who has perseverance keeps things moving even when there are mountains to climb. This helps keep a team focused on the task, and keeps morale up when times get difficult.
- Spongelike Nature
Yes, this does sound a little bit odd, but there is a reason behind it. A few leaders think of themselves as expert authorities, and that is a problem. You cannot know everything but these people don’t believe that. Consequently, they become defensive when their opinions or question. Being like a sponge means the ability to absorb knowledge and ideas from everywhere. It allows a leader to learn from not only experts but peers and subordinates as well. The result is a more informed leadership style.
- Open Mindedness
This complements the idea of the sponge. An authoritative person is someone who has a mind like a steel trap and is not interested in other people’s opinions. It is better to encourage discussion and seek input from employees. The intent is to listen and respond to ideas positively. It requires considering the opinions of others when making decisions. It is a form of empowering employees, and in this global economy, empowerment is critical.
This is essential in an economy where the competition is becoming more intense. Strategy means being able to determine the correct path for a company to follow in pursuit of its mission. Understanding the real vision of the organization, its strengths, and weaknesses, and being able to influence subordinates is all part of developing a strategic frame of mind. It requires being able to think both in the short term and in the long term, in certain cases almost simultaneously.
This is considered a major quality for modern leaders.. An effective leader does more than just make do with less, but working with less thanks to efficiency. It means that the leader will find the necessary tools and skill sets required to achieve objectives. Furthermore, that same leader will use what has been found as efficiently as possible without wasting anything.
All the above may be considered human skills. While it is nice to have technical expertise, there are other qualities of a leader which are far more important. Leaders in the modern economy should be able to achieve objectives with existing resources, and motivate people to go one step beyond their capacities. This is not easy to do. Leaders are made and not born. It is essential to keep this in mind because leadership is a lifelong learning process. One gets better as he or she becomes more proficient in each respective characteristic.
Concentrating on these features helps a leader to grow as an active manager. Mistakes can happen along the way, but these help a person learn. One thing to remember about the characteristics is that they are people oriented. Perhaps the first step in acquiring them is to become more open to employees and peers in the workplace. With that as the starting point, an individual can gradually develop into an effective leader and motivator.