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What are key leadership qualities? What makes a good leader?  


arganaj1
Posts: 3
(@arganaj1)
Consulting Analyst
Joined: 6 months ago

Hello fellas,

I am currently in my second semester at university and currently starting a project on which I am working with four other students.

What are the key qualifications meaning the leadership essentials? 

My second question is how do I get better at decision making and getting it accepted to the group? I think that my qualities can get improved regarding these specifics.

Thanks a lot for any responses.

4 Replies
Laurel
Posts: 2
 Laurel
Guest
(@Laurel)
Joined: 6 months ago

Hello Arganaj,

the best leaders exhibit certain qualities that make them hugely successful. For me, these are the key qualities for being a complete leader:

1. Clarity

They are clear and concise at all times- there is no question of their vision and what needs to be accomplished. This gives others the opportunity to digest their goals and decide whether or not they will support their cause. Generally, very few people know what they want, much less how to get there, so they will gravitate towards those who appear to have a clear picture in mind--good clarity leads to great achievement.

2. Decisiveness

Once they have made up their mind, they don't hesitate to commit-it's all hands on deck. They show great consistency with their decisions, rarely backing out or changing their minds unless it is absolutely necessary. Being decisive shows commitment, a quality very high in demand for a great leader.

3. Courage

Boldness is both something you can develop and something that is blessed as a virtue. Although some people are naturally more fearless than others, practicing how to be fearless--or at least project fearlessness--is a completely doable task, one many have achieved in order to fulfill their role as an amazing leader.

4. Passion

There's nothing more inspirational than seeing someone who cares about what they do-the best leaders exhibit boundless energy and passion for what they do. Don't be shy about your passion for whatever it is you are leading, be it a book reading or a laboratory experiment. As long as you are passionate about what you know, or care about, it'll shine through and people will follow.

5. Humility

While confidence is a very attractive trait in leaders, there's nothing like a humble character for creating a lovable persona. Great leaders admit when they are wrong and take criticism as an opportunity for growth. Show the world how grateful you are to be where you are. This, in turn, will demonstrate how much you deserve the leadership role.

Having all these abilities and personal aspects, they will automatically accept your decisions and trust you. Hope this helps for your project-lead!

Greetings,

Laurel

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arganaj1
Posts: 3
(@arganaj1)
Consulting Analyst
Joined: 6 months ago

Thank you so much, Laurel! I definitely see your points and will adapt to them. 🙂

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Petra
Posts: 4
 Petra
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(@Petra)
Joined: 6 months ago

Hi :), 

What I think is that the leader knows, what he or she wants, and knows how to get it. I have noticed, that people who are seen as 'leaders' by the majority are what I call gentle assholes. One video that summarizes it well is this one: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRRvjZ_XNog

Also, I highly recommend the books 48 rules of power, How to win friends and influence people, Captivate: The Science Of Succeeding With People.  

I also think that leaders are not the most agreeable people on this planet. And most people are not comfortable with disagreement (because we want to be accepted by a whole). But when you are a leader sometimes you will not make everybody happy (and if you are a leader you will not be liked all the time). If you are one of the people who want to be liked all the time you should start practicing and putting yourself into situations when you just will not be liked. For somebody is just too stressful. But make sure you have a balance of both agreeableness and disagreeableness.

The great video is this one on that issue: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW8kBBqc5Zk

Another thing is the responsibility of a leader. As a leader many times you will not have a responsibility just for your own self but also for many lives. Let's say you are a manager or director of some company, your bad decisions can cost some people's lives, lost mortgages, etc. As a person can you bear that level of responsibility? You can start practicing responsibility by taking responsibility for your own life first, meaning, being structured, organized, etc. If you can do it with yourself then you can do it with others. 

Also when it comes to people's interactions, what happens is what I call power dynamics. Meaning, some people will be naturally perceived as being dominant, smart, capable and leader based on the way they look, based on the way they are talking, or presenting themselves. Pay attention to people around you who you perceive as leaders, and see the way they interact, the way they talk, the way they look/are dressed. And, also reflect how can you do the same. I have noticed way too MANY times how people get put into the 'smart, capable, leader' category just because of the way they look & talk. And I find it a bit sad, but that's how we people are, we are all a bit superficial.

I would highly suggest you join some kind of debate club or some club in school where you can learn how to talk very nicely. You would not believe how far can your speaking/presentation skills get you. Learn how to speak well in front of a big audience. You can say the exact same sentence that has some simple meaning, but if you say in a sophisticated way you will be respected.  

Best,

Petra

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FrankieWeinberg
Posts: 18
(@frankieweinberg)
Senior Consultant
Joined: 6 months ago

Laurel and Petra made some great points. The one thing that is tangentially related to what they mentioned and that has become a key factor in leadership research lately is the idea of emotional intelligence. EI as it's often referred to as a lot of evidence-based grounding behind it as a capacity that is characteristic of the most effective leaders.

Other than that, I also just caution you to consider the context that the leader is in because especially things like traits can be differentially effective in different environments and situations.

 

Happy to chat about it further.

 

Frankie J. Weinberg, MBA, Ph.D.

www.frankieweinberg.com

Leadership consultant and Distinguished Associate Professor of Management

 

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