Five Key Qualities of Great Leadership
Good Leadership Is Both What You Do and What You Don’t Do
As you work with others in your leadership role, you will find that they face decisions, challenges and problems as often as you do. A good leader resists solving other people’s problems, but rather works alongside them to help them recognize opportunities and resolve difficulties for themselves.
It is critical for a leader to create an open environment that supports experimentation and discovery—key ingredients for both mistakes and successes. An open environment also includes time set aside for reflection, analysis and discussion about what is going well and what needs to be improved.
Key Quality I: Interpersonal Skills
This skill set reflects your ability to interact with others in a positive manner. Good interpersonal skills are vital to leadership development success. A leader who is empathetic, compassionate, fair, and encouraging will generate the personal trust and respect needed for leadership effectiveness.
Key Quality II: Self-Management Skills
Self-Management is the ability to prioritize and complete tasks in order to deliver desired out comes within allotted time frames. It is also the ability to control one’s emotions in challenging “pressure” situations. It requires self-awareness, valuing feedback, making decisions, and being willing to change. A leader who cannot effectively manage him/herself will have great difficulty in managing others. Leaders who have mastered self-management are more effective role models for everyone around them.
Key Quality III: Personal Accountability
This is a measure of your capacity to be answerable for your personal actions. Personal account-ability is leadership by example. A leader who has mastered personal accountability will inspire his/her protégé and team to exhibit the same behaviors and encourage leadership development within the team.
Key Quality IV: Influencing Others
The most critical key to leadership success is your ability to personally affect others’ actions, decisions, opinions, or thinking. Today’s leaders are in a position of influence, rather than power. To achieve results, you must be able to influence others to bring out the best in themselves as well as to do what you want them to do.
Key Quality V: Goal Achievement
An effective leader is one with the overall ability to set, pursue, and attain achievable goals regardless of obstacles or circumstances. This applies to the leader’s personal goals, as well as the protégé’s individual goals and team goals. Individual and team goals must be complementary to achieve the highest level of success.
Everyone has these skills to some degree. Some of these skill sets will develop a good administrator, but a good administrator is not automatically a good leader. It is the complete mastery of all the skill sets that creates the true leader.
Why Are These Skills So Important?
Your leadership effectiveness is measured through the results achieved by your team. Your role is to inspire and motivate them in ways that values their contributions while guiding them in a cohesive direction takes strong leadership skills. Effective leadership at any level demands that you be able to gain the trust of others, both one-on-one and in groups. They depend on you, their leader, to have a vision, see possibilities and work with them to create and achieve mutual goals. This is the cornerstone of the “art” of leadership!
Poor Leadership Skills Can Create Many Difficulties
A leader who has not developed good leadership skills can’t solve problems effectively. He/she may not have the empathy, self-confidence or motivation skills necessary to establish and meet goals or communicate them effectively.
A true leader:
• Communicates a vision and a belief in its value
• Inspires others to peak performance
• Sets appropriate examples for others to follow
• Instills a sense of order, direction, and focus
• Responds to adversity without faltering
• Clearly communicates the “what”, “why”, and “when” behind every “how”
Leadership Skills Can Be Developed … They Must Not Be Left To Chance
An aspiring leader must create a personal development plan and pursue it at all times.
As a leader you must learn to:
• Lead based on the foundation of your values, beliefs, and experience
• Share information with others; don’t hide news, feedback, critiques, or praise
• Support people when they make mistakes and help them learn from the situation
• Choose your battles wisely
• Be decisive
• Not make decisions for others
• Listen to others problems and help them define solutions
• Be persistent
• Encourage others to take initiative; reward them for independent decisions
• Not procrastinate
• Build teams and empower them to address problems
• Recognize the value of others contributions
The Best Leader Is The Most Effective Manager
A good leader inspires his/her team to constant improvement. A good leader recognizes that his/her own ongoing power and influence come from empowering others around them. A good leader nurtures leadership qualities within the team to complement his/her own development.
Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.