“A leader leads by example, not by force” ~ Sun Tzu
There are plenty of popular quotes on leadership and when we wanted to pick one for our blog, we noticed that each of these quotes describe the perspective an author has of what a leader should be and how each one of it is drastically different from the other. Though we picked one of our favorite quotes, the variety of these quotes helps you to understand how the concept of leadership is Fluid!
Leadership, by definition, is the action of leading a group of people. It also says that it is a position or state of being a leader, though, we believe that you do not need a position or a designation to influence people, it is a skill that anyone can possess and efficiently use devoid of the limitations as of age, position, place, etc.,
So, if we are defying that leadership is not a position but a personality trait, you may ask—what are these personality traits that define a Leader? After thorough research, below are some of the traits that every leader we have analyzed possesses:
5 Leadership traits that you need to learn:
1. Communication: Being able to communicate clearly is an asset and a root trait of great leaders. The leaders can speak their minds clearly describing their mission, vision, and agenda to the audience. At the same time, they also encourage two-way dialogue, giving an opportunity to the people to speak up. In fact, leaders understand the importance of freedom of speech and the value it can bring to an organization and how it can help to demonstrate an open culture in the business.
2. Charisma: Often times, dynamic leaders are defined by an adjective Charisma (charismatic) and though it is difficult to define that aura in words, you will know a charismatic leader when you see one. A charismatic leader has this positive exuberance about them that draws people to them, this type of leader is generally the most liked amongst equals. The positive attitude and charm about the leader help them stand apart and earn the trust and respect of the people they lead.
3. Commitment: A leader should showcase a high level of commitment to the people, to the business, and to their customers. Integrity a leader possess genuinely drives the people and the organization towards growth. A lack of commitment from the leader can have inverse effects on the people, business, and customers and may result in the downfall of the organization. So, the commitment shown is the commitment earned for a leader and is a very important trait that can make or break a leader and the business.
4. Futuristic: As fancy as the word sounds, we believe this is a crucial trait that helps the leader to be innovative and transformational. The mindset that understands the importance of constantly growing, learning, innovating, and changing is what drives the margins to the ROI and helps develop the
organization. And the futuristic leaders are always hungry for a growth-enabling change—steeping north always. All the CEOs of tech-giants are good examples that share this trait.
5. Can walk the talk: As Sun Tzu said, a great leader always leads by example, so one of the key traits that define and distinguishes a good leader from the not so good one is the ability to ‘walk the talk.’ A leader who doesn’t always preach but inspires people by his/her actions is subliminally calling the shots of what is the right thing to do and how they want it to be done. And if a leader falls short of this ability to walk the talk, they may not be considered seriously in the longer-run and keeping up the demeanor of a leader becomes as difficult. So, walk the talk and show the way!
A famous question – Are leaders born or can they be made?
An age-old argument that needs a mention when we talk about leadership skills is – can we be trained to become leaders, or leaders are just born, and no training can help in becoming a leader?
Our perspective: Though few of us are born with extrovert abilities to be able to express clearly, exhibiting confidence easily and no formidable fear of socializing, leadership is not just about the capability of mingling and influencing, it is much more transformational, situational, and transactional.
And leadership skills can be developed by training and facilitating. There are a ton of e-learning, books and research papers dedicated to building leadership skills. Basically, all the management schools around the world are in the business of churning students in becoming tomorrow’s leaders. So, if you are an employee looking for growth opportunities or if you are a student aiming to inculcate leadership abilities, do not fret further. Look for a program that is well suited to your requirements and enroll cause businesses and society needs more leaders for sure.
Top 5 Leadership styles
There are certain types of common traits that make you a leader, but every leader has a different approach or style of working. Plenty of definitions are in play for a lot of different styles of leadership but these are few that we wanted to share;
1. Democratic leadership: As the word explains, all the strategic decisions are made after the leader considers the opinions of all the employees or team members. The leader ensures that all the voices heard, though he/she is the final decision maker. This is the most effective style of leadership that is appreciated by the followers of the leader and is followed by a lot of fortune companies.
2. Autocratic leadership: This style of leadership is totally inverse the democratic style. In this style of leadership, the leader takes the decision around every operation in the organization and percolates it down to the employees at all levels. The followers of the leader have to just obey the decision and deliver accordingly. This is the least effective style of leadership and is not liked by the people as much.
3. Laissez-faire leadership: This French work Laiseez-faire means the policy of leaving things to take their own course, without interfering. And so, this style of leadership is when the leader denies responsibility and doesn’t interfere in the operational methodology of the employees/followers. This may yield short-term satisfaction for the followers but in the long run, it can result in a major downfall. So, this style of leadership can deliver situationally but never a long-term plan.
4. Bureaucratic leadership: This is the leadership style by the book, where the leader follows all the tried and tested regulations that are well scripted and ensures that the employees are adhering to these guidelines for quality deliveries. This kind of leadership works well when the product or service delivered is critical like in Aviation, life sciences, and health care. Though this mode of working restricts the creative capabilities of employees/followers, the guidelines of the process cannot be overlooked.
5. Situational leadership: This is the most fluid style of leadership which enables the leader to pick up a style of leading based on the situation at hand, the kind of work process, and the criticality of operation. This is our favorite style of the leading cause of the ability to portray and clad different hats to achieve the best possible outcome at any stage of business or otherwise based on the need.
Hope you got an idea about leadership skills and styles and this article helped you to understand what are the leadership traits that you already possess and the skills that you want to work on to become a kind of a leader that you aspire to be.
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