Qualities of a Good Leader

Published: 25th February 2009
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An old age saying goes that; 'managers do things right, leaders do the right thing.' Having a leader is particularly important in organisations. It represents structure and every business, organisation and group needs structure.

The term being a good leader means that you inspire others to follow your example. You are leading people to success and you are responsible for the actions that are taken to do this. So just what does it take to achieve this?

Not everyone has what it takes to lead. As the saying going, where some lead others follow. Some people often claim to be a natural born leader while others work their way to the top.

Going back to what it takes to be a good leader; you need to inspire confidence and represent a strong example of what needs to be aimed for. As I have previously mentioned the basic role of a leader is to get people to follow and in order to do this you need to have certain qualities, one of which is honesty. If your employees or the people supporting you don't trust you then they won't follow you. Honesty is something that will get you far as it is the perfect way to build up trust and without trust you have no structure, thus having no leadership.

On top of honesty you need to be reliable. People need to know that when you say you are going to do something that you actually do it and that you mean what you say. This will help you to build up a good relationship with the people that believe in you and the people that are going to follow and help you succeed. If you fail to be reliable you are letting your followers and supporters down; they will then lose faith in you and without the faith of the people who believe in you the most you will have no one to willingly follow you.

Another quality that will help you not only succeed but gain the trust of people is confidence, which goes hand in hand with enthusiasm. Confidence demonstrates that you believe in yourself and what you stand for and enthusiasm is important to give off the right vibes to people. If you are confident and enthusiastic about what you are doing then the people around you are more likely to be confident and enthusiastic. They will be more willing to find out about what you are leading them to, which in turn will make you support them more and get more people involved in the cause.

A good leader is committed to excellence, which again is another quality. As a leader you don't want to settle for second best; you want to maintain high standards in all areas. One way in which you can do this is by taking responsibility for aspects that happen.

It really goes without saying that to be a good leader you don't pass the blame. If something goes wrong you will earn a lot more respect if you hold your hands up and admit to the problem. If you are going to be making decisions then you need to take responsibility for these decisions. This also demonstrates humility as it demonstrates that you don't think you are any better or worse than other members of your 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.

One last thing that I am going to mention is the fact that all good leaders need to be patient. Make sure you find time to answer people's questions and make sure that people understand what message you are trying to convey. It is very important that you clarify things if people are unsure otherwise you may lose their support.

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. So to be a good leader you need to take on board the above qualities and never stray away from your primary objects; you will gain and keep a lot of respect this way.

Lisa Mills runs a website offering toys and gifts for children. http://www.the-imagination-station.co.uk is a site offering children's gift ideas.

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