10.Qualities of a Leader

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Great Leaders:

Great Leaders 10 Qualities of great leaders Prepared by M. Pandian DE (Retired), BSNL, Salem, India 1

What’s the difference between a manager and a leader?:

What’s the difference between a manager and a leader? “The manager does things right – The leader does the right things.” What exactly does it mean - “doing the right thing”? Does it mean history tells us whether the leader did the right thing? A leader is one who knows that though the risk of failure may be great, they don’t give up on themselves or others All leaders share certain qualities or characteristics, including: 2

1.Self-respect and respect for others:

1.Self-respect and respect for others Self-respect and respect for others. If you don’t have a healthy self-respect, you won’t respect others. If you don’t respect others, they will not respect you. You can’t lead people who don’t respect you. 3

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2.The ability to communicate effectively:

2.The ability to communicate effectively The ability to communicate effectively. Leaders say what they mean and mean exactly what they say. Effective communicators are far more persuasive than those who don’t communicate well. 5

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3. Integrity and character:

3. Integrity and character Integrity and character. Leaders are not swayed by unsubstantiated opinions or unfounded rumors. Fame, power, or material gain don’t motivate them. Leaders have integrity, that strength of character that resists assault. 7

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4. Having a vision:

4. Having a vision Having a vision, a mission (or a purpose), a sense of direction, and a clear set of goals. Moreover, they know that their job isn’t done when one set of goals is reached. Leaders know that life is a journey. 9

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5. Being grounded:

5. Being grounded Being grounded. When we are not Grounded we are "absent minded". Do you constantly misplace your keys, glasses, etc.? Then you are not Grounded! To me, being grounded means being fully present: Physically, Emotionally and Energetically . It means your mind is not wandering or pulling your energy elsewhere. 11

Being grounded makes one appear more concrete and well-established, with boundaries defined by that very visible and common groundedness.:

Being grounded makes one appear more concrete and well-established, with boundaries defined by that very visible and common groundedness. 12

6. Courage:

6. Courage Courage. Fear is a powerful motivator; it causes many of us to turn away from our goals when our belief in ourselves and our cause isn’t strong. Leaders aren’t fearless — leaders make a conscious choice to act in spite of their fear. To do the right things.. 13

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Courage is not the absence of fear, But rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. Courage is the freedom of our mind, body, and soul! 14

7. Persistence, commitment, and dedication:

7. Persistence, commitment, and dedication Persistence, commitment, and dedication. It’s like they always say: “Winners don’t quit, and quitters don’t win.” Nothing worth having comes easily. When setbacks crop up, leaders don’t flag because they always have their eyes on the prize. 15

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Persistence is the twin sister of excellence. One is a matter of quality; the other, a matter of time.” 16

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Goals require commitment and dedication 17

8. Humility:

8. Humility Humility. Leaders aren’t self-promoting or self-aggrandizing. They don’t take all the credit. They give credit to others and refuse it for themselves. Humility is simply about focusing on the unknown rather than the known. 18

How to Use Humility:

How to Use Humility Here are some ways you can apply humility to improve: People: Everyone is better than me in some way. More importantly, everyone has something to teach me if I look closely enough. Projects: Every project I start has a million uncertainties. Instead of assuming a rigid plan, I leave flexibility to allow new opportunities to come in. 19

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9. A sense of responsibility:

9. A sense of responsibility A sense of responsibility. Leaders are willing to bear the ultimate responsibility for their undertakings. They don’t point the finger of blame when things go awry. 21

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All the present operational philosophies put the flight crew at the top of the safety system. The Crew has the final authority in the airplane and is often considered as the primary contributor in all accident investigations, similarly the leader shall be! 22

10. Decisiveness:

10. Decisiveness Decisiveness. When action is called for, real leaders don’t waffle. Knowing that a window of opportunity exists (”the time to act is now”), they act quickly and effectively, based on the best available information. 23

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Decisiveness is a potent weapon leaders have. Whether you are the leader of a family, a company, a club or a church - making decisions is a key factor in your success. 24

What about you?:

What about you? What do you think are the most important qualities in a leader? Who do you consider a leader and why? Thanks so much for your time. 25