As Napoleon Bonaparte once said, "A leader is a dealer in hope". A true leader is one who weaves dreams or envision goals that others are unable to fathom, he plays on the front to achieve goals and lead by example.
Leadership effectiveness is determined by the followers' perception of the leader and their willingness to allow the leader to influence them. Therefore, a leader can also be defined by the attributes that his or her followers admire. While there are various types of leadership styles, following are the some of the most desired attributes of successful leadership.
This is the unique and most important element of successful leadership. The character of leaders is primarily defined by how they deal with the challenges and hurdles that meet them on their way towards achieving goals. Every time a leader chooses to have more self-control, depict honesty and offer cooperation, it adds up to their character. A leader's character can never be separated from his or her actions. Actions and intentions of successful leadership should be in tandem with higher moral values. The following are some of the facts about a leader's character.
- Character of true leadership always involves other people.
- Responsible leaders are reliable, it is an attribute that a successful leader always demonstrates.
Successful leadership is defined by excellent communication skills. Prosperous leaders are the ones who communicate knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. Regardless of the complexity of the situation, these leaders display an uncommon ability to connect and communicate with people. Whether a leader is speaking to a group of people, looking into a camera or connecting to a follower one-on-one; a successful leader will always be able to communicate with maximum effectiveness.
Adaptability and Flexibility
Productive leadership entails the willingness to assess results, admit mistakes and flexibility of mind. This means that successful leaders are flexible in the realization of their goals and objectives. Without adaptability and flexibility, strength of will can become dangerous. A constructive leadership is defined by a leader who accepts his or her mistakes and agrees to change leadership decisions or adapt to changed circumstances.
Being adequately or well qualified physically and intellectually always leads to successful leadership. Therefore, competence is more than just words. It is primarily the leader's aptitude to say it, plant it as well as do it in a way that followers will appreciate. One does not need to be an extremely knowledgeable or rich person to exhibit competence in leadership. Competent leaders normally do the following:
- They show up when they are expected to and do more than what is expected of them.
- Continually search for ways to keep learning, growing and improving in what they do.
Delegation and Trust
A successful leader is one who takes a practical approach to problems and is concerned primarily with the success or failure of his or her actions. According to Forbes, a constructive leader is a good organizer and he or she knows how to delegate. He or she authorizes subordinates to make certain decisions. The basis of delegation is trust in his or her followers. As a leader, it is a sign of strength to trust your followers. A leader must trust if he or she wants to be trusted by the followers.
Understanding & Openness
The basis for all successful leaderships includes understanding and openness – the ability to place oneself in the position of others. Constructive leaders possess the sensitivity to show empathy and they are always open to persuasion. A leader who demonstrates these attributes knows his or her followers, their motives, weaknesses, strengths, aspirations and ambitions.
Among the various attributes that define a successful leadership, charisma is one of the most important one. A charismatic leader is more concerned about making other people feel virtuous about their own situations; therefore, charisma is the ability of a leader to draw people in his or her direction. According to Harvard Business Review, charismatic leaders have confidence, personality and style. Charismatic leaders do the following:
- Share themselves and their life journeys.
- Enjoy life and give people hope.
Strength of Will and Purposefulness
A constructive leadership is based on strength of will and purposefulness. A successful leader has the strength of mind to follow the path through the accomplishment of his or her tasks, and always acts purposefully. This is the kind of a leader, who under any circumstances has the strength of mind and persistence in carrying on with the process of accomplishing his or her tasks. Basically, leaders who possess willpower and purposefulness are always ready to pay the price of being at the top, including: loneliness, sleepless nights, and long working hours.
Courage to change things is a nonnegotiable quality of successful leadership. A successful leader initiates change and understands that introducing change would require a lot of things that may prove to be costly and time consuming. Therefore, the difference between a successful and unsuccessful leader is that a successful leader is a person who is courageous enough to say things in public that were only whispered by others. It is the leader's courage to act on what he or she sees and the courage to speak when everybody else is silent.
Visionary leaders inspire others to have enough imaginative power and successfully identify tendencies and anticipate problems. These leaders have the spirit of creativity that helps them face problems and they have enough initiative to solve problems. Therefore, the real test for successful leadership is the ability to make the right changes at the right moment.
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