The world we live in needs leaders, whether that be in business, in sport or in any other field. But why is a leader a leader? Are leaders born with certain qualities which make them special, or are these qualities formed through the experiences they encounter in a lifetime?
There has been much debate over this, but the one thing agreed upon is that all leaders share some qualities in common.
Qualities of a Good Leader
A clear vision is one of the most important qualities a good leader can possess. A leader is able to visualize where he wants to be and where he wants his business/cause to be. A leader is able to communicate their vision to the people who they want, and indeed need, to follow them. This is important because these people have to buy into the leader’s vision and believe that it is part of their vision.
Leaders posses a passion which other people simply don’t have. Possessing this passion is key during the times when the world seems to be against them. When adversity strikes, most people would give up – not leaders though. Leaders stick at it, and do what needs to be done in spite of how bad things get.
Passion builds reputation, and passion forms the basis of trust, and is therefore one of the most necessary qualities a good leader must possess.
3. Confronts Fear & Takes Risks
It is impossible to be a great leader without confronting both fear and risk. If not, anyone could do be a leader. Instead, leadership is reserved for those special few who are able to face fears and take risks without hesitation.
It is not that fear does not exist. It is the fact that a leader still acts in spite of the fear. Risk always involves fear, and it is the presence of fear that is able to paralyse so many. Only those who acknowledge the fear and decide to act can aspire for greatness.
4. Recognises Their Dependence on Others
It is common to perceive a leader as being above and better than the people they have led. However, leaders do not share this view. They realise that they cannot do it all themselves, and are dependent on others to help them see out their vision.
Consequently, great leaders inspire others to greatness. Leaders don’t just see their followers just as followers. They see their followers as individuals who have goals, dreams, a desire to be valued and families to support. They realise that these people are paramount to their success and let them know this. Therefore, when times are tough and when the fulfillment of a vision seems more and more unlikely, followers will stick by their leader.
Without character, the other qualities of a good leader are null. A leader is able to lead people into a vision born out of integrity and character. It is ultimately the character of a leader that will determine whether they will be a great leader or not. This explains why many of those whom we consider to be great leaders were people of faith. Their faith instilled the integrity and character in them which brought the other traits together.