Leadership qualities

Leadership qualities
Institutional affiliation
The definition of a leader varies from one community to the other and from one
organization to another. However, there exists a common accepted idea about what leadership is.
Leadership is the art of leading a group of people, a community or a country to deliberately make
it possible a result that would not have happened otherwise (Baldoni, 2003). There have been
great leaders in the history of mankind among many generations of people. The likes of
Alexander the great, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther king, Napoleon the Conqueror among
many others. It is still debatable whether leadership is an inborn phenomenon or whether it can
be learned. For a long time, scholars and the masses of people have been arguing over this issue.
In spite of all this arguments and debates, people have come to accept that there are certain
characteristics that a leader must have. Whether they are born leaders or self-taught leaders, these
qualities is manifested in them in order to lead the people, organization or country.
A good leader ought to have good leadership characteristics. One of these qualities is
self-awareness. It is the ability of a person to recognize or have knowledge of his or her inner
emotional state (Hamm, 2011). A good leader should know his or her strengths and weaknesses.
It also means the ability of a person to have a deep understanding of ones needs, emotions and
drives. Individuals with a strong self-awareness are neither unrealistically hopeful nor overly
critical. Rather, they know their limits and are honest with others and themselves. Having a great
self-awareness helps a leader recognize how their feelings affect the people around them and
their job performance. In addition, it helps a person set goals and objectives which are realistic a
person who has a very low level of self-awareness will set high goals which will negatively
affect the employees. It is therefore essential for a great leader to have a strong level of self-
Motivation is another quality that makes a person a leader. Motivation is one trait that
virtually all leaders must have. Motivation helps leaders to achieve their own and everyone’s
objectives and goals beyond expectations. People in many organizations are motivated by
different factors. Most of them are motivated by factors such as salary, promotion or the status
that come from being part of a successful company. By contrast, potential leaders are motivated
by a deeply embedded desire to be successful just for the sake of it. According to Norris et al,
people who have great motivation skill scan be identified by their passion for work and love to
take pride in a job well done (2011). Conversely, leaders with this skill motivate their employees
to work harder and always ensure that the company’s goals are met on time.
In addition, a leader ought to have great social skills. A manger may have other traits of a
good manger but lack social skills. The employees of such a company will find it hard to table
their problems and grievances. In turn, the company will have employees that are unsatisfied
with their jobs which may lead to fall in level of production for the organization. Having great
skills in managing relationship with others is very critical to a leader. Socially skilled people tend
to have a wide circle of acquaintances. They also have knack for finding common ground with
the employees and knack for building rapport (Hamm, 2011). This skill goes in hand with
motivational skills. It is very essential in enabling people to perform better even in the harshest
time or during strikes.
As illustrated by Carpenter et al in their book, ability to delegate duties is another trait
that makes a person a leader (2010). Delegating task to the proper department is one of the skills
that a person can develop as he grows. The key to identifying the appropriate departments for
delegating duties knows the strengths of the departments. A person should find what each
member loves to do and capitalize on it rather than delegating tasks to a person who hates doing
that task. If a person finds the duty enjoyable, chances are that he or she will put more effort
behind it reducing mistakes. Being committed and confident is another trait that makes a leader.
A person who is committed ensures that the work he or she is given is done on time and
efficiently. Confidence helps the person do this task and delegating others to the rest of the
management. The key objective for a leader is to keep everyone working and enjoying his or her
All the qualities discussed are very important to potential leaders and the practicing
leaders. Some of these traits are inborn and others a person can learn it. The common adage that
leaders are born and not taught to some extent is wrong. There have been great leaders that once
in they were very poor but grew and learned these skills. For example, delegating duties to the
appropriate department is one aspect a person can learn over time, same as self-awareness.
However, there are leaders who were born natural and did not need to learn much. From very
young ages they have been involved in one or two organization. It is therefore right to conclude
that, born leaders are the leaders who have been taught should always have most of these
qualities discussed.
Baldoni, J. (2003). Great communication secrets of great leaders. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Hamm, J. (2011). Unusually excellent: The necessary nine skills required for the practice of
great leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Norris, Terrie S, CSP,A.R.M., C.P.S.I. (2011). Grow your leadership skills. Professional Safety,
56(8), 1.
Carpenter, D. J., Fusfeld, A. R., & Gritzo, L. A. (2010). LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND STYLES.
Research Technology Management, 53(6), 58-60.

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