Being a leader is not an easy task. To lead and inspire others, you have to possess a few qualities. If you want to be in that position, you need to about the qualities that make a worthy leader and see if you have them. Below, we will discuss the 9 top qualities of a good leader.
First, let us be clear about something; being a leader and being a manager are not the same thing. This misconception has held many people back throughout the years. They think that being a leader is a matter of position. You can become a leader regardless of your position in an organization.
Also, remember that leadership style and leadership qualities are two different things. Depending on various sets of skills, people possess various leadership styles. However, leadership qualities are some traits that all leaders have in common. Otherwise, they would not be able to lead others at all.
Below, we will talk about the 9 top qualities of a good leader. So, read on.
Essential leadership qualities that make a good leader
If you wish to be successful as a leader, you got to have these 9 top qualities of a good leader. And even if you don’t, relax. Whether you would be a good leader or not is not something that’s decided at your birth. If you correctly develop and cultivate your leadership qualities, you too can reach your full potential.
This is the mindset you ought to have. Otherwise, you would end up hampering your growth and progress. But before we dive straight into informing you about the top qualities of a good leader, let us see what leadership is.
Leadership, as American author John C. Maxwell explained, is nothing more or nothing less than influence. And American consultant Warren G. Bennis referred to it as the ability to transform vision into reality. There are several other definitions you can find online as well. Nonetheless, you would notice that they all point towards the same message.
To summarize, being a leader means influencing others to follow them and work according to the plan to achieve something great.
That is why being a leader is not a joke. You must have a few qualities that can influence the crowd to do something and fulfill higher goals and objectives. Take a look at people like Martin Luther King Jr. or Steve Jobs, and you would get a clear picture of what we are trying to say here.
Now that you have a decent idea about what leadership is, we will now list out the 9 top qualities of a good leader:
First, we have the essential quality of integrity. A person must possess this invaluable quality to be considered a good leader. In the absence of integrity, it is impossible to run a business or lead others effectively.
According to author Brian Tracy, in every strategic business meeting he holds, there is no disagreement between executives as regards giving the first priority to integrity. So, as you can understand, integrity is the cornerstone of good leadership.
Anybody who wants to be a good leader must stick to their beliefs even when the situations are too hard to endure. They should never compromise their principles and refrain from making promises that they know very well to be false. They must also keep in mind that there are no shortcuts to success.
Working ethically to achieve the promised goals is both necessary and effective in getting rewarded later. Those who follow you expect you never to falter and keep inspiring them when they feel like not carrying on anymore. Don’t prove them wrong.
Real leaders have to be confident. There’s no question about it. They must have the confidence that they are capable of thinking and acting outside the box to make their organization reach the next level. If you want to inspire others, you got to figure out how to display your confidence to the fullest.
But as we all know, over 50% of human communication is nonverbal communication. So, your confidence must ooze out of not just your voice but also your entire body.
Confident leaders can captivate and have influence over other people because humans are more inclined towards following someone who embodies confidence than someone who doesn’t.
If you truly wish to become a good leader, you must polish your nonverbal communication skills by standing tall and getting rid of your fidgeting. Also, try to make eye contact.
These things might seem to be small and trivial, but they contribute to making you appear confident to a great extent. “Appear confident” – that’s the keyword. Even when you don’t “feel confident,” making yourself “appear confident” can make a huge difference and compel others to follow your lead.
If you can’t focus, you won’t be able to achieve anything in life. You got to maintain your focus on your aims. Otherwise, you would fail to guide and lead others to victory as well.
A good leader must be capable enough to organize things and plan ahead. They must also be flexible to a certain extent so that they can deal with unforeseen challenges that might arise out of nowhere.
If you get distracted easily, you might end up sabotaging your business yourself rather than any external causes. But being focused allows you to keep any and all distractions at bay, and go for the ultimate reward.
Compare yourself to a grandmaster. Like a grandmaster, a leader should always act strategically and have a clear understanding of how each of his or teammates’ actions will affect the outcome of a particular scenario. Therefore, stay focused and strive to create an environment that helps you focus.
It is a no-brainer that a good leader has to be positive. One who doesn’t think positively and can’t spread positivity among others is unfit for a leadership position. However, that doesn’t mean, as a leader, you will not experience moments of frustration or distress at all. You will. You are a human, after all.
Being positive merely means that even when a challenging issue arises, you would take a positive approach to solving them.
Great leaders know how to turn their setbacks into triumphs and ooze out optimism wherever they go. Such a person is capable of influencing others positively and propelling their teammates forward, even in the darkest of days. Practicing positive thinking and eliminating negative thinking go a long way. So, try practicing it.
5. Problem-solving skills
One of the top qualities of a good leader is having great problem-solving skills. A worthy leader is someone who can solve a problem themselves without running around to find someone else who can do it on their behalf. Problem-solving abilities are absolutely vital for the smooth functioning of an organization.
As a leader, you got to have the ability to analyze different situations thoroughly and then make decisions accordingly. If you can’t identify, analyze, use your problem-solving skills, and resolve an issue when it arises, well, we hate to break it to you, but you are not fit for being a leader. Hence, in order to be a worthy leader, start sharpening your problem-solving skills.
If you wish to be a leader who inspires others to give their 100% every time, you got to have empathy. It is so essential a leadership quality that even ‘The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual’ refers to empathy as a crucial aspect of a strong leader.
Being empathetic towards your teammates is not soft. Instead, it is a much-appreciated quality that can make people believe in you and your authority.
If you truly want to establish a connection with others and get your message across, you got to have empathy in you. When you get to know another person’s viewpoint, you would make better predictions regarding how your words and actions will affect them.
On the flip side, if you lack empathy, you would end up estranging people instead of connecting with them. No matter who they are – be it your teammates, employees, customers, or anyone else – they are bound to distance themselves from you eventually. And, as you might understand, that is counter-productive. Thus, you have to cultivate empathy besides other necessary soft skills.
The Last 3 Top Qualities of a Good Leader
Accountability is, no doubt, another important one of the top qualities of a good leader. Let’s get it straight; every human makes mistakes.
And leaders are, above all, humans too. So you too would make some errors sometimes. However, what sets good leaders apart from others is that they are ready to take accountability for their mistakes.
Unlike others, real leaders don’t blame others or try to justify their wrong moves. Instead, they take full accountability for their wrong actions and by doing so, encourage their followers to be accountable for their actions as well.
This is beneficial in creating a healthy atmosphere inside your organization and invokes a sense of responsibility in everyone involved.
This sense of responsibility would make everyone give their best every time and strive to fulfill both their personal and your organization’s needs. Besides that, good leaders know what their purpose is and are the helmsmen who steer their teams in the right direction.
So, it’s essential not to pretend that you made a mistake even when you know very well you did. Such pretension is extremely harmful to your organization as it can give birth to trust issues among teammates and discourage them from taking accountability for their own actions.
8. Effective communication
To be successful as a leader, you have to know your as well as your teammates’ communication styles. This is an important aspect to consider if you are looking for ways to strengthen your business to a great extent.
Why is effective communication necessary? It’s because a leader, who not only communicates information to their teammates but also communicates their objectives and vision to enthuse their teammates, is the one worthy of being called so.
We often undervalue the impact our words can have on others. But the best leaders understand that words are capable of changing someone’s emotions and making them do the undoable. Being an effective communicator is undoubtedly one of the top qualities of a good leader.
Nonetheless, you got to remember that effective communication doesn’t mean running your mouth all the time. Instead, it is about deeply listening to what others have to say.
When you are all ears while your teammates or employees are talking and then ask thoughtful questions afterward, you show that you truly care about their contributions. This, in turn, will boost your employees’ morale, and they are very likely to become more confident and productive.
When you are in a leadership position, you might have to make difficult decisions sometimes. You can’t avoid it. No leader can. However, the way you deal with such decisions is what makes you a true leader. Therefore, you need to be decisive.
Being a decisive person means that you are capable of facing a tough time and rising above it rather than folding under pressure and succumbing to it.
Yes, we know that making a tough decision is often quite hard. We also know that it might not always earn you appreciation from your team. But remember that if you do what is right for the organization and your long-term objectives, it is worth it and will make others respect you eventually.
Waiting around till something irreversible occurs or allowing others to make decisions on your behalf are not the traits of a strong leader. So, you must step up and make decisions that are right, even if they are not easy to make.
Conclusion of The Top Qualities of a Good Leader
As you can see, being a leader is not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of effort from you to do justice to such a significant organizational role. Here, we told you about the 9 top qualities of a good leader. If you have them, do some polishing. If you don’t, develop and cultivate them. Best wishes!
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