Leadership and Management

Everything You Need To Know About The Characteristics Of A Good Leader

In a world laden with numerous structural and ideological inconsistencies, the need for having good leaders cannot be overstated. These leaders don’t just inspire organizations and communities to achieve their fundamental objectives, but they also help nations bridge their social, economic and political divides. As a result, societies become much stronger, bolder, resilient and efficient. 

However, the question of what constitutes good leadership has always been a difficult one to answer. While some people believe that leadership is essentially a mix of managerial, operational and social skills that can be acquired over a period of time, others are of the opinion that leadership is nothing but a natural trait that can only be honed, never imbibed. Nonetheless, years of research has revealed that there are certain specific characteristics of a good leader that can help identify and separate them from mere managers. 

Here is a detailed list of a few attributes which tend to define, delineate and establish the essential qualities of a good leader –  

1. Visionary 

One of the foremost characteristics of a good leader is that they are powerful and promising visionaries. They have a clear idea of what they want to achieve, and they try to accomplish it by tapping into the potential of their followers. This futuristic vision backed by strategic planning and excellent implementation enables them to turn their propositions into real-world success stories. 

2. Courageous 

Being courageous, especially in testing times, is another attribute that defines the qualities of a good leader. Courage can either be physical or moral. While physical courage equips leaders to risk material harm, moral courage prepares them to pursue their convictions without any fear of criticism or ridicule. Courage is also considered to be one of the primary characteristics of a good leader because it helps leaders take responsibility for delivering results. 

3. Honest 

Honesty and integrity are the founding principles on which all other characteristics of a great leader depend. If a leader selflessly instills both of these traits, it becomes much easier to create an atmosphere filled with truthfulness, sincerity and transparency. This further gives rise to a sense of trust, which, when employed as a motivating force, can assist both, individuals and businesses to flourish internally and externally. 

4. Cooperative 

Good leaders act as a binding force that aims to bring everybody on the same pedestal. They facilitate cooperation and promote coordination while trying to balance all contradictory interests. This becomes particularly important within an organizational set-up, where different departments tend to work in silos. Leaders bring all these units together, infuse faith in them and push them to pursue their goals in a collectively beneficial manner. 

5. Communicator 

Effective communication, whether verbal or non-verbal, is one of the greatest characteristics of a good leader. Speaking clearly and candidly helps them convey messages, build strategies and resolve grievances to achieve productive and sustainable outcomes. In fact, communication is counted amongst the major qualities of a good leader precisely because it harbours the indelible power to influence, stimulate, inspire and motivate. 

6. Optimistic 

The ability to view every adverse situation with a lens of positivity and optimism is one of the most important characteristics of a good leader. Leaders who are oozing with hopeful confidence are largely respected by all their subordinates. This is because optimistic leaders tend to make the most of every opportunity available to them. Their cheerful disposition strengthens the belief of followers in the promise of a happy, prosperous and bright future.  

7. Passionate 

Passion and commitment are the two main qualities of a great leader, which enable them to stand out of the crowd. Leaders who are incredibly passionate about the accomplishment of objectives can easily motivate their followers and infuse them with new vigor & energy. Such leaders don’t sit in ivory towers while their team members go through the regular grind. Instead, they get down and actually get their hands dirty, thus inducing commitment and devotion.  

8. Decision-Makers 

The qualities of a great leader largely include their ability to take strategic, lasting and smart decisions. These decisions, which are likely to have a wide-ranging impact, should be taken only after all stakeholders have been consulted, all scenarios have been considered, and all pros & cons have been weighed. The basic purpose of a decision should be to empower the masses and prepare them to deal with an uncertain future. Strong decision making, in fact, is touted as a highly essential personal characteristic of a good leader

9. Sensitive 

One of the chief characteristics of a good leader is that they are empathetic, humble and sensitive. Their compassion helps them understand their followers and see them as a human being – not as a mere resource. Nevertheless, this does not mean sensitive leaders tolerate shoddy performance, rule violation or bad attitude. If the situation demands, they also need to penalize non-performers, without being inconsiderate or unsympathetic towards them. 

10. Creative 

Last but not the least, creativity and innovation are also considered to be principle characteristics of a good leader. In the modern world where technology is advancing everyday, leaders need to think out of the box. Sticking to the old, compartmentalized routines is not an option anymore. Leaders must delegate power, promote freethinkers and encourage unique ideas. Such qualities of a good leader can easily endear them to a large set of followers. 

The Way Forward 

Whether you are running a nation or an organization, the characteristics of a good leader and the qualities of a good manager are not very different. Both leaders and managers are required to harbour all the aforementioned traits so that they can deliver successful outcomes while leading by example. However, these characteristics of a good leader do no always have to be inborn. You can also learn them by honing your strengths and eliminating your weaknesses. This will help you become a good leader & more importantly, a better person.

If you too want to inculcate the qualities of a great leader but don’t know where to begin, try – here. This leadership and management course won’t just equip you to imbibe the characteristics of a good leader, but it will also bring out the very best in you! So, what are you waiting for? Register now! 

Looking to sharpen your leadership and management skills? Join our top-rated professional diploma in leadership & management today!

Shaw Academy

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

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