What are the qualities of a good leader? In The One Minute Manager we learn about two dimensions of team leadership: directive and supportive behaviour. An effective leader has the ability to change their style to meet the changing needs of the team and the person.
Situational leadership theory takes us on a journey of group development. An appropriate leadership style is needed that complements the person and the situation. The styles a leader uses to manage the team may include telling and directing, selling and coaching, facilitating and supporting, or delegating. But what qualities does a good leader need to display? What traits are needed for the situational leader?
trait n. A distinguishing feature, as of a person’s character.
Qualities of a Good Leader
Here’s a list of qualities I reckon you need to lead. I think they account for most situations.
- Appreciative – A wise leader values their team and the person. Success is only achieved with the help of others. What’s more, genuine appreciation provides encouragement, develops confidence, and builds on strengths.
- Confident – Trust and confidence in leadership is a reliable indicator of employee satisfaction. Good leaders aren’t afraid of being challenged. Their confidence inspires.
- Compassionate – Compassion is a strength. A good leader uses compassion to perceive the needs of those they leads and to decide a course of action that is of greatest benefit to the person and the team.
When the great leaders work is done the people say, “We did that ourselves!” – Lao Tsu
- Courageous – Perhaps I should have put this at the top of my list? A courageous leader is prepared to take risks when no one else will. A courageous leader has faith in other people. A courageous leader raises difficult issues, is ready to give difficult feedback, and share unpopular opinions.
- Diligent – To persevere in conviction, courage, creativity, compassion, and character we need diligence. Good leaders work hard.
- Fair – Fairness is what people want. Good leaders don’t have favourites in the team. They reward for results not partiality; they promise fairness.
- Flexible – The good leader is able to flex. They alter and adapt their style according to the situation, context and circumstances they experience. They welcome new ideas and change.
- Honest – Wise leaders are not afraid of communicating the truth to their people. Honesty is about being truthful, having integrity, and building trust. Honesty leads to better more productive relationships.
- Impartial – Good leaders are impartial. They recognise their biases, prejudices, and predispositions. They also recognise biases in others and face them.
- Responsive – Good leaders are responsive to the needs of those they lead. They adjust their behaviour to best match the situation. They listen to their team; they value their team.
Have Your Say
What qualities of a good leader would you add? Why not share them? Please join the discussion.
Creative Commons image courtesy Scott Cawley.
Leadership Qualities That You Must Include in What Makes a Great Leader Essay
The definition of good leadership may vary from one country to the next, but there are 11 main things that must appear in each definition of good leadership.
- Unique style of leadership – there are many different styles that a good leader can use therefore good leadership is not restricted to any particular style.
- A leader has to be prepared to lead – Leadership has to be a conscious choice. Each decision must be deliberate and well-thought through. Good leaders hardly ever rely on luck alone.
- You can only be a leader when others are ready to follow you – the title itself says it all; leadership cannot exist without a following.
- People and relationships are more important to a leader than the routine tasks – since you expect people to follow you, it only makes sense to have the same people as your main priority.
- Good leaders set a clear vision – as stated earlier, good leadership is intentional. A leader should be able to paint for his/her followers a clear picture of their destination.
- Communication is essential – you have to communicate constantly and accurately; your followers need to know where they are going and how they will get there.
- After describing the destination, you have to deliver – good leadership produces desirable results.
- Manage your drive and energy – always have some reserve energy for when things go wrong. Being able to manage your energy also means knowing your limits.
- Always trust your gut – some may take this to mean that one must be impulsive. A good leader trusts not only his instincts but also thinks things through.
- Finally, a good leader accepts and learns from his/ her mistakes – it is impossible for any one person to be perfect. Good leadership involves acknowledging and bearing responsibility for mistakes.
In one way or the other, your essay describing good leadership must incorporate these qualities in a manner that answers your thesis. Now that you know some of the most important qualities of a good leader, you must be wondering which structure your essay will take.
A Five-Step Process for Writing Expository What Makes a Great Leader Essay
Because you will be asked to describe a good leader, you might settle on an expository essay structure. Here are five steps you will follow while writing this essay:
In this initial stage, you will brainstorm for an appropriate topic for your essay as well as the main ideas you will discuss. In addition to this, you will research while making notes and later draft an outline which will organize this information in a logical sequence.
Here you will have a few considerations to make. Your introduction should have a clear topic sentence as well as a strong thesis that will drive your body paragraphs. While the thesis should not give a specific opinion, it must have a manageable scope according to your topic.
Each body paragraph must also have one main point as well as supporting evidence. The conclusion must emphasize your thesis and should not contain any new information
At this point you will be able to review your content, making sure there are no errors in wording and grammar while also having in mind that for expository essays, you must always write in third person. This is because you are discussing a phenomenon and not recounting personal experiences.
An expository essay must be clear and concise, but it should also engage the reader in a lively manner. Have someone else read your essay to give it a new perspective.
- Prepare your final version.
Having incorporated all the changes listed, you are now ready to write the final version of your essay.
Writing an expository essay is a necessary skill to have. Feel free to use this simple guide when writing an expository what makes a great leader essay.
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