"A genuine leader is not a searcher of consensus but a molder of consensus"- Martin Luther King
A Leader is a person whom people follow, or someone who guides and directs people. Leadership can be defined as "organising a group of people to achieve a common goal". Everyone wants to be a leader but the fact remains that with great authority comes great responsibility. One must assume responsibility to gain leadership. Even that is not enough as true leaders are those people whom everyone wants to follow and not necessarily have to follow.
A Leader has to be charismatic, for everyone around him to follow him, but he also has to ensure, the success of the common goals and aspirations of the group, failing which the whole purpose is lost. The followers give their loyalty in exchange for the realization of their dreams, which they feel is possible with the guidance and support of their leader.
In our age and time, we all have the ability to metamorphize into a leader given that we are able to inculcate the following set of qualities.
Decision Making Skills
Decision Making Skills are imperative to every leader, since they are the ones who are in authority for not only themselves but the whole group of individuals they represent. Risk taking is necessary to a great extent for reaching our goals, however here the acumen of the leader comes into play as he should be capable of taking calculated risks to maximize returns.
In Depth Focus
A leader has to be focused, towards the goal and he must ensure that everyone within the group is also equally focused. Deep focus is necessary to achieve success, because that ensures that one would do everything consistently and efficiently over a period of time to reach desired outcomes.
Communication is the backbone of human relationships, it is indispensable for a leader to have good communication skills. Not only is he able to control & command, he is also able to resolve conflicts within the group with good communication skills.
Developing Striking Personality
A Leader must possess a striking persona, which would include his language skills, the way he carries himself, confidence.
Inexperience, a lack of maturity, needing to be the center of attention, not recognizing limitations, a lack of judgment, an inferior knowledge base, or any number of other common mistakes made by rookie leaders can cause your house of cards to fall. If you don’t have the experience personally, hire it, contract it, but by all means acquire it. Great leaders surround themselves with tier-one talent and the best advisers money can buy. They don’t make uniformed or ill-advised decisions in a vacuum.
Expanding Knowledge Base
Great leaders have a deep understanding of their subject matter, and a strong orientation toward achievement. Great leaders possess what often appears to be a sixth sense or an almost instinctive feel for what the needs to occur leverage their knowledge into a competitive advantage.
Always do the right thing regardless of sentiment and never compromise your core values. If you cannot build trust and engender confidence with your stakeholders you cannot succeed. No amount of talent can overcome illegal, immoral or otherwise ill-advised actions. A leader void of integrity will not survive over the long-haul.
Developing Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills are very necessary for a leader as he needs to modulate the group dynamics and make people work tirelessly with motivation towards a predetermined goal.
Great leaders possess a strong presence and bearing. They are unflappable individuals that never let you see them sweat (unless of course it serves a purpose). Everything from how they carry themselves to how they speak and dress, messages that they are in charge.
Compassion and kindness are two virtues of mankind, a leader must possess them in abundance to gain trust of his followers.
Great leaders have a strong bias to action. They don’t rest upon past accomplishments, and are always seeking to improve through change and innovation. In today’s fast paced and competitive environment those leaders who don’t openly embrace change will often be shown the door prior to the expiration of their initial employment contract.
A Great Sense of Humor
A Leader must possess a great sense of humor, as humor diffuses every tricky situation successfully. As they say being able to laugh and make others laugh in the face of great hardships is the mark of a great leader.
Energy and Hard work
Great leaders have a boundless amount of energy. They are positive in their outlook and their attitude is contagious. A low energy leader is not motivating, convincing, or credible.
Drive and Passion
Drive and passion are always the qualities that make all the difference, one should be able to keep up their drive at all times. Being passionate is an asset, one must involve themselves tirelessly and consistently in the area of their interest to develop passion.
"A Leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way"- John C Maxwell