What Traits Does a Leader Hold?
Whenever we talk about leaders, some great personalities like Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Martin Luther, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, etc. come to our minds. But being a leader doesn’t always mean leading a political campaign only. Leadership roles can be at the organizational and domestic levels. This means whenever you are leading and guiding a group of people, it means you have some leadership qualities.
Who is a Leader?
Before talking about the traits of a leader we should know who is a leader? Different scholars and writers have tried to define a leader like John Maxwell said;
A leader knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.
Napoleon Bonaparte defined a leader as;
A leader is a dealer in hope.
In my view, a leader inspires, motivates, and guides a group of people to work for achieving a common goal. He gives vision to his followers and keeps them focussed on transforming vision into reality.
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Is Leadership Innate Quality?
You must have heard sentences like;
He is a born leader.
Leadership is in his genes.
He inherited leadership from his forefathers etc.
These types of sentences have spread the misconception that leadership is an innate and inherited skill. But this is not 100% true, you can learn and acquire leadership skills just like other skills over some time with experience.
Top 12 Traits of a Leader
Although leadership is a very vast term and we cannot confine it to a few traits, there are a few skills that every leader should hold.
1. Integrity and Respect of Leader
Integrity is the most important trait for a leader. A leader must have some principles based on which he guides his followers. Moreover, he is respected by the people based on his integrity. Therefore a leader should be a man of principles.
2. Honesty of Leader
A leader should be honest, dedicated, and selfless. He should realize that he is a mentor to many followers. If he is dishonest his followers will either not follow him or will learn dishonesty.
3. Good Communication Skills of Leader
Leadership is all about communication with the followers, therefore good communication skills are mandatory for a leader.
4. Passion of Leader
A leader should be passionate about his goals and dreams. First, a leader believes in a dream then he makes his followers believe in that.
5. Vision and Direction
A leader should be a visionary person. He should be able to see the big picture and should come up with long-term strategies. He should keep his team motivated in the right direction.
An empathetic leader lives in the hearts of his followers. A leader should listen to and understand the problems of his team members. He should deal compassionately with the problems of all team members.
7. Confidence and Courage
The confidence of the leader makes him a leader. A leader should have the courage to stand confidently even when the conditions are worst.
8. Leader’s Decisiveness
Taking timely decisions is also an important quality of a leader. Decisions of a leader affect the whole team therefore a leader must take timely and right decisions after evaluating all pros and cons, and future implications of his decision.
9. Delegation and Motivation
A leader should be able to delegate and assign tasks to the most appropriate people. He should keep the people motivated to achieve their goals as a team.
A leader is accountable for his decisions. He should take responsibility for the positive or negative outcomes of his strategies and decisions.
11. Positivity and Optimism
A leader should be an optimist. He should be able to make his followers believe in light when there is complete darkness around. He should be able to keep the morale and spirit of his team-high.
12. Flexibility and Adaptability of Leader
A leader is a flexible person who can change his strategies according to changing conditions. Moreover, he adapts to the new condition without getting panicked.
A successful leader creates more leaders instead of creating more followers. The leader who holds the best leadership qualities becomes a role model for his followers. People not only tend to follow them but also try to acquire and adopt these traits.
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