The Top 10 Leadership Qualities
Updated: September 26, 2015
Leadership can be defined as one's ability to get others to willingly follow. Every organization needs leaders at every level. Leaders can be found and nurtured if you look for the following character traits.
A leader with vision has a clear, vivid picture of where to go, as well as a firm grasp on what success looks like and how to achieve it. But it's not enough to have a vision; leaders must also share it and act upon it. Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric Co., said, "Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion."
A leader must be able to communicate his or her vision in terms that cause followers to buy into it. He or she must communicate clearly and passionately, as passion is contagious.
A good leader must have the discipline to work toward his or her vision single-mindedly, as well as to direct his or her actions and those of the team toward the goal. Action is the mark of a leader. A leader does not suffer "analysis paralysis" but is always doing something in pursuit of the vision, inspiring others to do the same.
Integrity is the integration of outward actions and inner values. A person of integrity is the same on the outside and on the inside. Such an individual can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might be expeditious to do so. A leader must have the trust of followers and therefore must display integrity.
Honest dealings, predictable reactions, well-controlled emotions, and an absence of tantrums and harsh outbursts are all signs of integrity. A leader who is centered in integrity will be more approachable by followers.
Dedication means spending whatever time or energy is necessary to accomplish the task at hand. A leader inspires dedication by example, doing whatever it takes to complete the next step toward the vision. By setting an excellent example, leaders can show followers that there are no nine-to-five jobs on the team, only opportunities to achieve something great.
Magnanimity means giving credit where it is due. A magnanimous leader ensures that credit for successes is spread as widely as possible throughout the company. Conversely, a good leader takes personal responsibility for failures. This sort of reverse magnanimity helps other people feel good about themselves and draws the team closer together. To spread the fame and take the blame is a hallmark of effective leadership.
Leaders with humility recognize that they are no better or worse than other members of the team. A humble leader is not self-effacing but rather tries to elevate everyone. Leaders with humility also understand that their status does not make them a god. Mahatma Gandhi is a role model for Indian leaders, and he pursued a "follower-centric" leadership role.
Openness means being able to listen to new ideas, even if they do not conform to the usual way of thinking. Good leaders are able to suspend judgment while listening to others' ideas, as well as accept new ways of doing things that someone else thought of. Openness builds mutual respect and trust between leaders and followers, and it also keeps the team well supplied with new ideas that can further its vision.
Creativity is the ability to think differently, to get outside of the box that constrains solutions. Creativity gives leaders the ability to see things that others have not seen and thus lead followers in new directions. The most important question that a leader can ask is, "What if … ?" Possibly the worst thing a leader can say is, "I know this is a dumb question ... "
Fairness means dealing with others consistently and justly. A leader must check all the facts and hear everyone out before passing judgment. He or she must avoid leaping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence. When people feel they that are being treated fairly, they reward a leader with loyalty and dedication.
Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. Rather, it is the ability to clearly state what one expects so that there will be no misunderstandings. A leader must be assertive to get the desired results. Along with assertiveness comes the responsibility to clearly understand what followers expect from their leader.
Many leaders have difficulty striking the right amount of assertiveness, according to a study in the February 2007 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the APA (American Psychological Association). It seems that being underassertive or overassertive may be the most common weakness among aspiring leaders.
A sense of humor is vital to relieve tension and boredom, as well as to defuse hostility. Effective leaders know how to use humor to energize followers. Humor is a form of power that provides some control over the work environment. And simply put, humor fosters good camaraderie.
Intrinsic traits such as intelligence, good looks, height and so on are not necessary to become a leader. Anyone can cultivate the proper leadership traits.
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03 May 20 Inspirational Leadership Quotes for 21st Century School Leaders
Posted at 20:47h in 21st Century Leadership, Best Books, Educational Leadership, Inspiration, Leadership for Principals, School Leaders, School Leadership by Maxine Driscoll0 Comments
Yes, I know only too well, it can be tough being a school leader in the 21st century.
There are times when you need some inspiration to uplift and motivate you. I’ve compiled a list of inspirational leadership quotes to help. Choosing a favorite each week and using it as a mantra will definitely take you to a new leadership level. Writing your own leadership quotes is even more inspirational. Why not try it? I hope you will share your favorite leadership quotes with the world too.
- If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – President John Quincy Adams, USA
- Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. – Jack Welch, former GE chairman and CEO
- No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change; become a better version of yourself. – Madonna
- Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do. – Mother Teresa
- A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be. – Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady, USA
- As we look ahead into the 21st century, leaders will be those who empower others. – Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft
- Leadership is the capacity to transform vision into reality. –Warren G. Bennis, founding chairman of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California
- To lead people, walk beside them. As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence … When the best leader’s work is done, the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!’ – Lao Tsu, Chinese philosopher
- A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit. – Arnold Glasow, humorist and author
- The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there. – John Buchan, novelist, historian and politician
- Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. – Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple
- Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others. – Robert Louis Stevenson, author
- I have three precious things, which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men. – Lao Tsu, Chinese philosopher
- Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. – John Kennedy, former President, USA
- Great leaders harness personal courage, capture the hearts and minds of others and empower new leaders to make the world a better place. – Maxine Driscoll, Founder Think Strategic
- You have to be unique, and different, and shine in your own way. – Lady Gaga
- You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things. – Mother Teresa
- Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela, former President South Africa
- You can’t lead anyone if you can’t lead yourself! – Maxine Driscoll, Founder Think Strategic for Schools www.thinkstrategicforschools.com
- Looking for more than inspiration? Do you need practical strategies to help you cope with your crazy busy workload? Why not check out my online courseto improve your 21st Century leadership capacity. Check it outhere
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