Leadership means having vision, clarity, energy and most definitely PASSION. It’s about empowering people to perform at the best of their ability in order to fulfil a shared vision. A Leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.
Important Leadership Qualities that separate good leaders from not so good in my opinion are:
Honesty & Integrity
- The supreme quality of Leadership is unquestionably “Integrity” without it, no real success is possible.
- Leaders succeed when they stick to their values and core beliefs and without ethics, this will not be possible.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do” – Eleanor Roosevelt
- To be an effective leader, you should be confident enough to ensure that others follow your commands.
- As a leader, you have to be oozing with confidence, show some swagger and assertiveness to gain respect & trust of your followers.
A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- This is probably the most difficult job for a leader; it can only be possible if you inspire your followers by setting a good example.
- As a leader, you should stay calm under pressure and keep the motivation levels up. A positive attitude or approach should always be visible through your actions.
“Your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.”- John Quincy Adams
Commitment & Passion
- Your team looks up to you and if you want them to give you their all, you will have to passionate about it too.
- When your teammates see you getting your hands dirty, they will all follow by your example.
“The art of leadership is saying NO, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.” – Tony Blair
- A good communicator can be a great leader.
- Words have the power to motivate people and make them do the unthinkable. If you use them effectively, you can also achieve better results.
- Communication can vary greatly and includes building trust and consensus, creating awareness, educating, changing knowledge, influencing perceptions, attitudes and beliefs, promoting action and changing behaviour.
“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt
- A leader should have the ability to make the right decision at the right time.
- Decision making is a key skill, and is particularly important if you want to be an effective leader.
- The ability to make a good decision with available information is vital.
“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth” – John F. Kennedy
- Accountability should not be defined as a punitive response to something going wrong. It should be defined as “the quality or state of being accountable; an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions.”
- Accountability means preventing something from going wrong.
- Holding your followers accountable for their actions will create a sense of responsibility and they will go about business more seriously.
“It is amazing what one can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry S. Truman
“A good leader takes little more than his share of the blame and little less than his share of the credit.” – Arnold H Glasow
Creativity & Innovation
- Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
- In order to get ahead in today’s fast-paced world, a leader must be creative and innovative at the same time.
- Creative thinking and constant innovation is what makes you and your team stand out from the crowd. Think out of the box to come up with unique ideas and turn those ideas and goals into reality.
- Creativity is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions
“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” – Nelson Mandela
To be a good leader you will have to set a good example for others to follow. That is where your commitment, passion, empathy, honesty and integrity come into play. Good communication skills and decision-making capabilities also play a vital role in success and failure of a leader. Lastly, innovation and creative thinking, as well as the futuristic vision, are a couple of key traits which make a leader stand out.
Written By:Karen de Klerk
Bio: Kerry is the CFO at BPD Advertising and has been with the agency since 2010. Her approach to life is always striving to do better, accomplish greater, perseverance is key and discipline plays an important role. Her values are that one must always be kind, loving & caring so that this world can be a better place for all.