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Learn the right characteristic of leadership and become an effective leader!

What are the characteristic of leadership? What does it take to be a good leader?

No matter where you are in life right now, having leadership skills can be very useful in the various situations that you face. The benefits it brings in helping you handle tough situations are priceless.

Contrary to general belief, leadership skills are not just confined to people in positions of leadership. The leadership definition does not confine leaders to solely CEOs, higher management, military generals, or politicians. Everyone is a leader in their own right. Every situation in life needs a good leader.

characteristic of leadership Some people are born leaders. These people are able to influence and inspire others easily. They have the characteristic of leadership. Leading comes naturally to them. However, this does not mean that leadership abilities cannot be developed. Just like everything else in life, it can be learned, practiced and developed to perfection.

What separates a good leader and a poor one is having the right characteristic of leadership and using effective leadership styles. There are plenty of attributes required to be a good leader. For this article, let's focus on the most vital ones.

Effective Characteristic of Leadership

1. Great Communicator

Good communication is one of the most important characteristic of leadership. A good leader is able to communicate well not only with the people he is leading, but with external parties as well.

So what does it mean to be a good communicator? For starters it means saying what is required, not what is desired. Good leaders tell the truth like it is, without sugarcoating or fearing of hurting others feelings.

characteristic of leadership A good leader knows what to say to get the best out of their followers. A good basketball coach never praises his star player after a great game. This is so that the player will keep on working hard to improve. However, after a lousy game the coach is always the first person to go to the player, give him a pat on the back and encourage him.

Criticize when necessary, give credit where it is due, encourage when encouragement is needed and always listen to what your followers have to say. Being a good communicator is also being a good listener.

2. Decision Maker

Part of a leader's role is to make decisions and provide direction to those under him. Being a good decision maker means ;

  • Be timely - Being able to make decisions within the required time. Not spending too much time analyzing and considering each decision.
  • Resolute - This means having the firmness and willpower to stick to each decision long enough to see it bear fruit.
  • Flexible - To have the flexibility to change directions and decisions when it is discovered that the initial judgment may not be the right one.

Sometimes it is not possible to have all the information to make a decision. Thus, often times instinctive judgment is needed. A good leader trusts his judgment and has the courage to use it.

Courage to make decisions defines a good leader.

3. Clear Vision

Another characteristic of leadership is to have a clear vision, on what the group needs. A good leader is clear on what he wants. This clarity of vision is imperative to ensure that the whole team is continually moving in the right direction. A ship needs a captain who knows exactly where it is suppose to go. There's nothing worse than having the destination constantly changed and the maps regularly replaced.

A clear vision provides stability and certainty.

4. Trust Others And Be Flexible

Trusting other people is another characteristic of leadership. A good leader knows how to trust others, especially his followers. For everyone there is always this natural urge to try to take everything on board, to review all work etc. All this to try to ensure that everything is fine.

characteristic of leadership There is nothing wrong with that, however often times it is done excessively. We must know that no one can do everything and be everywhere all the time. I've seen many real life examples of leaders who just can't let go. They have no confidence in their subordinates and don't trust them.

A good leader trusts others. They believe in the abilities of others and are flexible enough to accept that everyone has their own way of doing things. Good leaders don't force their others to do things their way.

It is important to trust others because it encourages followers to be independent rather than dependent. The leader then won't be bogged by having to provide guidance and directions all the time to the follower.

Not only that, when trusted by their leader, people will usually perform better and more creatively. It gives them more self belief and a boost in confidence.

5. Lead By Example

This is a common saying but it is still very important. A leader has to lead by example. He has to set the standards. The leader must be the one putting in the most effort. He has to be the one putting in the most heart and passion into the cause. Only then will the followers be inspired to do the same. This is how the great leaders in the history of the world have inspired millions.

Leading by example includes taking responsibility as well. Putting the blame for any failures on others will only make a leader lose the respect of his followers. A good leader always takes responsibility for everything.

6. Be Congruent

For a leader to inspire and influence his followers, he first needs to gain their trust. Nothing helps gain trust more than showing congruency.

Congruency means having your thoughts, words and actions are all aligned. It means practicing what you preach. Doing so proves a person's dependability and trustworthiness. A leader who says one thing but does another will find it very hard to gain his followers trust.

7. Be Part Of The Team

A good leader does not consider himself to be the boss. Rather he views himself as part of the team, equal to all other team members. Leaders who consider themselves as part of the team quickly gains the respect of the team members. Followers will be more willing to help and give their best as they have a sense that the team is 'one' and everyone is in this together.

characteristic of leadership

Final thoughts...

So there you have it, the characteristic of leadership. I guess if I have to sum everything up, I'd say to be a good leader; you must identify yourself as a leader. There needs to be a complete shift in identity. It is a totally different mentality to that of a follower.

Being a leader is not just having people working under you. When you are a leader you need to change the way you view things. The way you think, the way you do things and ultimately the way you live.

Read, study and comtemplate the famous leadership quotes of great leaders in history. Learn their philosophy of leadership.

Whenever you are faced with any situation in life, ask yourself 'What would a great leader do in this situation?' Practice doing that everyday and you're well on your way to be an effective leader.

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