Everyone can become a leader but only a few have the capability and the qualities to become a ‘good’ leader. Now, the first question that may arise is who is a good leader?
In the words of John C Maxwell “A good leader is someone who makes the way, goes the way and shows the way”. But how do you differentiate a leader from a good leader? A good leader has a strong, well-defined vision along with possessing the following qualities:
Self-belief: For leaders to be able to lead their teams, it is very important for them to be able to believe in themselves. A leader can only become successful if they trust their teams and believe in the members’ capabilities. A good leader must have confidence in his/her capabilities and decisions. To become a successful leader you must believe in yourself, your business, products and services, and in your team.
Being Honest: While working in a team, it is exponentially important for employees to be able to trust their leaders. The employees are a reflection of their leaders. Thus, to induce honest behavior in the employees, it is necessary for a leader to be honest and truthful. Ethics and integrity are two qualities that define a good leader. How can you expect your employees to be truthful and ethical when you yourself lack these qualities?
Effective Decision Making: It is a leader who takes important decisions regarding the company. For a leader to be successful, it is probably the most necessary quality to be able to take efficient decisions. A leader’s decision not only affects them but a lot of other people. Thus, a good leader is the one who takes time and puts in a lot of thought and efforts before making a decision.
Delegating the Work Load: Good leaders are not those who do all the work on their own. In fact, good leaders are those who are able to delegate the work and make the entire team work and move in the same direction. It is not possible and irrational to do each and every task on your own. A leader must focus on the important responsibilities and leave the rest up to their teams. This also helps boost the employees’ morale and makes them responsible. This does not mean that you should not support or help your subordinates. It means that you must delegate the secondary activities to the subordinate and support and help them throughout the process.
Being Confident: Confidence is the key to success. Unless you, as a leader, do not have confidence in your actions and your team members’ actions, you won’t be able to succeed as a good leader. You must be confident enough to make others follow your instructions. A good leader is the one who oozes confidence and is assertive. But remember, there is a fine line between confidence and over-confidence. You must remember to not cross that line.
Empathy: To become a good leader, you must empathize with your subordinates. Your subordinates must be able to trust you and share their problems with you. An effective leader is the one who can understand the problems of his/her followers, feel their pain and empathize with them. But even this is not enough unless you provide solutions for the followers’ problem,
Accountability: A good leader is someone who takes a little more blame than who he/she deserves and a little less credit than what he/she deserves. You must make sure that your subordinates are accountable for their actions. If they do well, appreciate them but if they struggle, you should make them realize their mistakes and work with them to improve.
Effective Communication Skills: This is probably the most important quality of a good leader. All your great ideas and decisions are useless unless you are able to communicate them to your subordinates and other. A good leader must be assertive and develop good social skills. Only a good communicator can become a good and successful leader. Words are very powerful tools. Words are capable of motivating people and making them do things they never imagined. The key is to use these words effectively.
Ability to Motivate and Inspire: Lastly, a good leader not only obtains good results but also motivates and inspires their followers. As a good leader, your objective is not only to get the results or reach the target, it is also to motivate, inspire and in the process create effective leaders.
To become a good leader, you must possess these qualities. A good leader inspires and sets examples for their followers. Every person has someone they admire and whose footsteps they follow. If you want to be that someone, you must work really hard to acquire these effective leadership qualities and become a ‘good’ leader!