Saturday, 11 January 2014

Qualities of a Good Leader

A leader is a person who leads or governs a group of persons, especially in organizations, state or country. Any leader
that wants to be respected and honoured needs to possess certain qualities. The qualities are the tools that will help him in carrying out his functions effectively. Without these qualities, any office he leads will not grow in the right order.

There are many countries that are still 'babies' being nurtured by her mother for many years now because of the calibres of persons that have been leading them for years. Any country that wants to experience increase and development in all sectors of their country needs good leaders with certain qualities. These qualities will help them in carrying out effective functions and in upgrading of the country he rules.

Managers of some companies are having lots of problems with their employees because they (the managers) lack certain fundamental leadership qualities. The managers and the employees see one another as cat and dog because there are some qualities that the management is expected to have which he does not. Until these qualities are possessed, there occurs reign of peace and the organization will be properly managed and great achievements made in the companies. Some managers are seen as the most loved than others because those loved possess good characteristics of leaders.
The Qualities of a Good Leader 
Quality as defined by Concise Oxford English Dictionary is standard of something as measured against other things of similar kind, is needed in the life of every management irrespective of the size of the organization he or she manages. Without wasting much time, the qualities of a good leader are intelligence and wisdom, social maturity, motivation, honesty, knowledge, fairness, good education, integrity, attention, and selflessness.

Intelligence and Wisdom: It is expected that every leader is too be more intelligent than the persons he leads in every work environment. It is defined as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills for the good of every community. Intelligence will help a leader to make good opinion when confronted with two challenging issues. In the Bible of the Christian Faith, it was intelligent and wisdom that made King Solomon to make good decision between the two women who were fighting over a baby. With wisdom, leaders can make great changes in the organization they oversee without needing more energy. In fact, any leader that wants to pilot the affairs of the people he leads effectively must pray to acquire this quality. It is wisdom that will help you respond to a friend of yours who comes to borrow money from you for his business trip when you know you want to make use of the money in no distant time.   

Social maturity: It is expected that every leader must be matured socially. He is to socialize with the co-workers to some extent. This social maturity will help him to pilot his official affairs well, but the socialization should not go overboard. There should be limit to any social relationship between a leader and the people he leads in the community. If the socialization is not a matured one, it can attract insult to the leader of the country or any community. Man is a ‘social animal’ and we are to socialize but there should be maturity in it. Premature socialization between leaders and the people he leads can make the leaders instructions to be neglected by his workers. This may result to drawing back of the organizational activities as instructions are not carried out properly as given by the headman.

Motivation: A true leader of any community; be it organization or country should have the desire to make process in the place he leads. To motivate is simply to have the desire to do something. This desire acts as a driving force towards him to achieve greatness in the country he governs. Motivated leaders always think on what he is to do for the country in order for progress to take place. If there is power failure in a particular country and the citizens of that country feels bad about this, it is only a leader with motivational spirit that can get the issue arrested. He applies any good method to see that the problem is resolved.

In offices, motivation is what drives the upgrading of the establishment. A true manager and leader always call the workers and give them piece of advice that will motivate them in their duties. The word of mouth has power when used very well. Good managers use the power in the spoken words to make good changes in the employees to uplift the organization in terms of services and effective functions.

Honesty: This simply implies the quality of being honest. It is the practice of being truthful in all that one does in any location of his existence. You as a reader of this write-up will not be happy if the information passed on the topic is not true not true not to talk more of how it will be when a leader of any community is ‘bag of lie’.
Some companies have refused partnership with another one because of dishonesty. This is a big element of setback that many companies are facing. It makes them to make less profit from the services they render to people. A good leader should see dishonesty a great weapon against the progress of their organization and embrace honesty. Honesty is needed in every leader because it makes people to believe in them and go with their words.

Knowledge: It is of no help if the leader of a country has no knowledge of the leadership position he handles. It is one of the reasons why many leaders kept on messing up in the position they occupy as leaders. It is expected that any leader of any organization or country should has the knowledge of his position. Knowledge in this context is information and skills required to perform good leadership function.

People should not occupy leadership positions because they have godfathers who are among the decision makers of the country. leadership is a call and those who are called for such duty must have had experience on what to do and things not to be done when they find themselves as presidents or managers of countries or organizations respectively. Experience is the best teacher and that is one out of many qualities needed in every leader or aspiring leaders.

Fairness: Leaders should have the quality of treating people equally without any sentiment. This quality promotes organizations because the workers will be convinced that the leader operates on a level platform by giving equal treatment to everybody without favouring a particular worker and treating others harshly.

Fair leader units the people he leads because of the kind of treatment he gives to everyone. In a country that is divided into zones, it is fair treatment that can issue ‘red card’ to any conflict that may tend to arise. Take for instance if a country is divided into zones, like the east, west, north and southern zones. Giving equal or appropriate allocations to these zones will bridge conflicts which may arise from any part of the country. 

Good education: What is education? How do you think education affects leadership positions? The eleventh edition of Concise Oxford English Dictionary defined education as the process of educating or being educated. It went on to say that it is the theory and practical teaching. To educate is to give social instruction, moral and intellectual to somebody. This is what any leader should possess before he can perform effectively in leadership.

Education affects leadership position in a great way. Think of how it will be when the president of a nation is not well equipped educationally and he is called in a foreign country for meeting where the language of communication is English language and he does not know how to communicate with the language because he did not attend school. He won’t even go to the meeting not to think of listening to what will be said in the meeting. Education is needed in every leader because it helps the leaders to easily get connected and enlightens people. Being educated changes the thinking of people in the right sense and helps leaders to get updated on the current things happening in the modern world.

Integrity: This quality has to do with uprightness and quality in character. Every leader should practice integrity and make it his companion. It is the quality of having strong moral principles. Any leader that lacks moral principle is likely to soil himself and the organization he leads.   

Truly, integrity as a great and good quality needed in leadership is being lacked by many leaders especially those that lead in offices. We have been hearing many stories on how many male managers are ‘using’ their female employees in offices. The worst part of it is that whenever this kind of thing wants to happen, the manager goes and meet the receptionist just to tell him or he (the receptionist) that she should tell any person that asks of him that he is not around. Until the ‘drama’ between him and the young lady ends, he then informs the receptionist to start allowing visitors to enter the office. This poor morality soils the integrity of leaders.

Attention: A good leader develops listening ears to the people he leads. When you lead and do not listen to the opinions of the people you lead, you automatically become a bad leader. A good leader listens to the cries of his peoples and consoles them. He listens to the suggestions made by them and have them applied for the good and growth of the country, office, community or the organization. Autocratic government ‘answers absence’ in good leadership system.  

Selflessness: This is concerned with showing more concern on the needs and good wishes to the people a leader leads rather than for his own selfish interest. Jesus (Christian Faith), the only son of God, showed this example by giving his life for the good of the people. A good leader may not give his life but he is expected to work to see that things are going on well for his followers. Taking president of a country for instance, if he is a good leader and many youths in the country are unemployed, a selfless leader does anything possible to see that employment opportunities is secured for them.

To lead is not easy but those who agreed to stand as leaders are expected to lead the people well. This topic is on the characteristics that good leaders possess. Any good leader is expected to possess these characteristics. The characteristics of a good leader as discussed on this topic are intelligence and wisdom, social maturity, motivation, honesty, knowledge, fairness, good education, integrity, attention and selflessness.

Principles and Practice of Management by Vincent O
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary

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