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Top 15 qualities of good leadership

November 18, 2013 16:16 IST

Top 15 qualities of good leadership

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Courtesy YouthIncMag

Whether it be leading a group for a project or managing a committee for a college festival, or even spearheading a task in an office, leadership skills are invaluable. Read on to find out how you make an impact

Everyone is a leader in their own way.

A leader is anyone who takes initiatives and ensures a certain task is done.

A leader must maintain a fine balance between accomplishing goals and managing the people who help accomplish those goals. Here are some tips on how to achieve that.

1. Have a strategy

Take some time to consider the task you are meant to accomplish.

What are your responsibilities and how will you shoulder them? Create an action plan and share it with your team.

2. It's not what you do, it's how you do it

Good leaders do not lead armies of robots; they manage people, so you need to first become someone who can connect with other people.

If you are humble, gracious, approachable and attentive, your team will be more willing to work with you.

Courtesy:YouthIncMag.com

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Image: A leader must have a vision and be able to lead and manage teams

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3. Know your limitations

Nobody is perfect, not even Superman.

The trick is to identify where you are disadvantaged so you can team up or hire people who will complement your skills.

Only then will you lead a well-rounded group that is capable of doing pretty much everything.

4. Communicate regularly

You cannot delegate tasks and then disappear.

Talk to your team-mates regularly. Monitor their progress and track everyone's performance so you can solve problems early.

Keep sharing ideas; collective intelligence is far more powerful than solitary intelligence.


Image: Identify and hire people who can complement your skills

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5. Be available

Make time for your team. Be open and approachable so your team members know you are interested in the project and will be around to guide and support them.

Listen to other people and learn from them too.

6. Trust your team

Trust is a two-way street; if you want the respect of your team-mates, trust them first.

Trust that you've made the right decision in putting together a group of people.

Trust them in the job they do. Do not undermine their work or efforts.


Image: Trust the people in your team and the work they do

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7. Encourage creativity

Simple solutions are elegant, no doubt, but once in a while a creative solution paves the way for a revolution.

Encourage your team to think laterally.

Creative solutions will differentiate your group's work from the rest.

Unconventional ideas are hard to come by, so cherish the ones that your team gives you.

8. Take risks and innovate

Take those creative ideas and act on them.

Weigh the feasibility and the repercussions of implementing the idea.

Sometimes you need to take a leap of faith.

Not all risks pay off, but that's why you do your research first -- that minimises the chances of failing.


Image: Inspire your team to innovate and come up with creative suggestions

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9. Display consistent behaviour

Treat everyone the same.

Sometimes you may need to work with someone a little differently owing to their skills or working styles, but apart from that, you must be identical in your approach to everyone.

Be respectful and unbiased.

Don't let your moods dictate your behaviour.

You should not be someone that people step around cautiously. The command-and-obey method is a thing of the past.

10. Be fair

Listen to all sides of a story before jumping to conclusions.

Be justified in your actions because you are answerable to your team.

Be firm but not aggressive. Don't be a bully and don't gossip.


Image: Be fair and consistent in your approach

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11. Have a positive attitude

Your attitude is contagious; it influences the attitudes of your group members.

If the leader is pessimistic, the approach to work will be dull and uninspired. But if the leader is optimistic, there is hope and energy in the work.

12. Inspire and motivate

Channel your positivity to the group often.

Loss of motivation is one of the biggest enemies of productive work.

Inspire your team to work towards the goal.

13. Reward and recognise

One of the best ways to keep your team motivated is by recognising their good work and rewarding them.

Praise your team-mates and show them they are valued.

Above all, listen to them. Listening works wonders.

 


Image: A positive attitude can help stir good energy within the team

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14. Keep calm in a crisis

This is a difficult trait to display, but it is absolutely essential.

Panicking will not solve a crisis, it will only worsen it.

If you panic as well, then there is no one who can think of calm, level-headed solutions.

15. Set an example

In the end, be someone your team members would like to emulate.

Leaders are influential people, so make sure you are a person who influences others in the right direction.

 


Image: A leader should be able to set an example for the rest of the team to emulate and follow

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Here are some leaders you must read and know more about for inspiration:

Cleisthenes: The father of democracy

Gopala, Pala Dynasty: First democratically elected king in South Asia in 705 CE

Pope Leo I: Stopped Attila the Hun from invading Rome

Eleanor Roosevelt: Champion of human rights and the rights of women in the workplace

Nelson Mandela: Former President of South Africa who dismantled apartheid

 


Image: Inspiring leaders (anti-clockwise from top left) Cleisthenes, Nelson Mandela, Pope Leo I and Eleanor Roosevelt
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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