There’s always “that” leader everyone looks up to; people want to talk like them, act like them, sound like them, and above all, have the privileges they have. However, it is important to realise that with great opportunity comes great responsibility. Every leader has qualities in them that make them stand out from followers. Yet, many followers have the abilities to become a leader.
This article is focused on five leadership qualities and how a person can get better at expressing these qualities. So, if you are a leader that hopes to become better or a follower who wants to develop his leadership abilities, this piece is undoubtedly for you.
However, let us define who a leader is.
According to John C. Maxwell, a leading author of several books on leadership, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”
This is a huge responsibility and to achieve this, a leader must have these five qualities:
- Good communication: For you to show others a particular path to follow or a specific strategy to use, good conversation is inevitable. Without being able to communicate your plans to your entire team, failure would only be a step closer.
- Integrity: Without integrity within a group, it would be impossible to achieve success. In the absence of completeness, it is impossible to trust. If a leader’s integrity is questionable, it will rub off on the rest of the team, and it would be impossible to achieve the team’s goal.
- Creativity: Creativity is what distinguishes leaders from followers. If a leader lacks creativity, there would be no vision. The creative juices of a leader must continually be at work to ensure that the team keeps up with the changes around the world.
- Delegation: This is a quality that helps a leader carry out his role effectively. Also, while a leader delegates, he is indirectly empowering his followers by giving them more tasks that would help them develop their abilities.
- Empathy: In a bid to avoid the trap of sympathy, many leaders neglect empathy as well. This way, the followers would feel resentment towards the leader and begin to see them as a dictator who does not care about their difficulties.
How to Improve These Five Qualities
- Good communication: Many leaders mistake talking for discussion; talking is merely a way of communication. The mood, the emotions and the gestures you show while speaking and listening is essential. Ensure you are not a dictator, but you are instead making your follower(s) buy into your dream. Also, ensure to listen and never shun anyone. Lastly, no question is stupid; entertain all forms of questions.
- Integrity: Ensure you have someone who can keep you in check, especially when you find yourself in compromising situations. This would go a long way in maintaining your integrity as a leader. This person could be another leader in his rights.
- Creativity: Travel, meet new people, meet & network with other leaders at events and experience life for what it is. This way, creative ideas would keep coming.
- Delegation: It is vital that a leader does not take all the work into their hands, as this could lead to failure. To improve on delegation, always remind yourself that individuals within your team have several abilities and these abilities are to be used to advantage. Also, make sure to provide the resources necessary to go about the tasks you have delegated. Therefore, figure out what needs to be delegated, figure out the right man for the job, provide the resources necessary and reward them when the job is done.
- Empathy: Constant efforts have to be made in ensuring you are empathetic towards your followers. Choose to love them and never hide your love for them genuinely. Remember, empathy does not dwell in a problem; it finds a way to fix that problem.