A good leader should be a good role model. He must have; a versatile and thorough knowledge of his particular field, a sound mind capable of making good judgements that will yield positive results. Good leaders foresee or establish a clear vision and motivate the rest of the team to work towards achieving the set goals.
There are many definitions of who a leader is, but the most simple and concise is that by John C Maxwell. Maxwell defines leadership in terms of the qualities every great leader should possess and what’s expected of them. According to him “a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” Every leader is saddled with the responsibility to lead the way from nothing to something, to make that leap from a failure to a success story, to creatively put together and transform a simple idea into a franchise.
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. – Warren Bennis
“Research clearly shows that transformational leaders—leaders who are positive, inspiring, and who empower and develop followers—are better leaders,” explains psychologist and leadership expert Ronald E. Riggio. Transformational leaders are more likely to have a higher performing team and are more valued by their followers.
Who do you consider as a good leader? How good are your leadership skills? Do you have what it takes to be a leader? No matter how good a leader you may be, you are not perfect, there must be one or two aspects of your leadership that need fixing.
Here are some few tips to help you develop good leadership qualities and do excellently as a leader.
1. Be a role model
The most important quality of a good leader is character, honesty and integrity. Good leaders show good examples of the character or behaviour they expect in their followers. A good leader must have a strong and admirable character everyone under him tries to emulate. Start building strong discipline and character that is worthy of emulation if you want to be a better leader. Model the qualities you love to see in your subordinates. For example, you hate late coming, never be late.
2. Be a driver/Motivator
There can never be effective leadership if there is no good followership. All leaders are confounded with the problem of having loyal followers that understand perfectly what’s expected of them. As a leader, the only way you can command good followership is to be a source of inspiration for your followers. When there are challenges, your followers look up to you for psychological strength and inspiration. Understand that you are the head and your followers derive much of their strength from you. You must remain resolute and calm no matter the pressure. You must be able to prove to them by your actions that it is possible, it can be done – the situation is not a hopeless one.
“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” – Sam Walton
3. Be open to suggestions
Be democratic, open yourself to fresh ideas and suggestions. Encourage your team members to always think of better ideas and bring forth to the table.
You must understand that you don’t know everything. Life’s learning process never stops. The fact that you are a leader does not mean your ideas cannot be flawed or limiting. Being open to suggestions and contributions would also help you understand people better and see things from multiple perspectives.
4. Be passionate and compassionate
Great leaders do not only focus and work round the clock to achieve their set targets. They also have that zeal or gusto to take the lead from the forefront.
Always be passionately devout to your duty. Fondly express your zeal. Be genuinely interested in the progress of your group, company or state. Appreciate and encourage hard work, contributions and better ideas put forth by members of your team.
5. Build on your communication skills
They say ‘talking is not doing’, ‘actions not words are the ultimate results of leadership’. And it is so true. But show me one great leader in history or at present who is (was) not a good communicator.
To be a great leader, first you must have a vision. But until you can communicate effectively that vision you have to the rest of the team and the strategies you intend to apply to meet your goals, you can never get the results you expect. Words motivate people to do extraordinary things. In essence, you must be a good writer, poet, speaker and listener to make a great leader. Work on your communication skills
To be a better leader you must;
- Be committed, have passion, empathy and integrity.
- Have good communication skills.
- Have superior knowledge and be willing to take time to tutor those below you.
- Have have good decision-making capabilities and wisdom to adjudicate or settle disagreements/disputes amicably as they arise.
- Motivate, encourage or inspire people to work hard towards the set goal.
- Take responsibility, be willing to sacrifice himself if need be to safeguard the institution and protect the most vulnerable among his subjects.