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skills are “an essential component in positioning executives to make thoughtful decisions about their organization’s mission and goals, and properly allocate resources to achieve those directives. Valuable leader ship skills include the ability to delegate, inspire and communicate effectively”.
Lee Iacocca’s 9 C’s of Leadership from Where Have all the Leaders Gone.
- A leader has to be Creative
- A leader has to show Curiosity
- A leader has to communicate
- A leader has to be a person of Character
- A leader must have Courage
- To be a leader, you have got to show Conviction
- A leader should have Charisma
- A leader has to be Competent
- You cannot be a leader, if you don’t have Common Sense
- A leader has on the road to show CURIOSITY. He has to pay attention to people outside of the “Yes, sir” mob in his inner circle. The lack of ability to listen is a form of egotism, it means either you assume you already know it all, or you just don’t be bothered. A leader needs to be curious, to step out of his comfort zone and to snoop others’ different, possibly challenging ideas. Without challenging our philosophy and belief’s how do we know we are right?
- A leader has to be CREATIVE, go out on a limb, and be willing to try something different. Leadership is all about managing change enthusiastically … Things will change charismatically, and you get creative. Leaders need to be keen to seek something innovative for thinking outside of the box. Part of a leader’s function is to deal with change. Circumstances alter constantly, a leader needs to find feet and creatively deal with those changes.
- A leader has to COMMUNICATE. I’m talking about facing reality and impressive the truth.
Effective leaders meet head-on realities, even when it is painful to do so. They communicate the truth; imply strategies to move forward, inviting others to share their thoughts and become involved as part of the elucidation
- A leader has to be a person of CHARACTER. That means knowing the difference between right and wrong and having the guts to do the right thing. It is about our moral and ethical potency It is what is deep inside us, both when things go well and in the wrong supremely, our status and our character should be mirror images. Abraham Lincoln said: “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
- A leader must have COURAGE. Showing off isn’t courage. Tough talk isn’t courage. Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiating table and talk. Forward progress brings with it the risk of failure. Leaders face fears and create momentum where others may languish
- To be a leader you’ve got to have CONVICTION — a fire in your belly. You’ve got to really want to get something done. There is no greater argument than partnering an idea or vision with a sense of inherent timeliness of every item on the list, this must be used sparingly, as consistent passion provides no differentiation.
- A leader should have CHARISMA. People follow a leader because they trust him. That’s my definition of charisma. Charisma is the excellence that makes people wants to follow you. It’s the ability to inspire. Some of the ways to develop charisma is by being kindhearted, being an excellent listener, maintaining eye contact, showcasing eagerness for the vision and ability to encourage through your words.
- A leader has to be COMPETENT. You’ve got to know what you’re doing. More important than that, you’ve got to surround yourself with people who know what they’re doing. People will follow a leader only if they are competent. To be competent keep shoulder to shoulder of the trends, read daily on leadership, contribute to your learning with everyone and stay relevant with technology.
- You can’t be a leader if you don’t have COMMON SENSE. As someone said common sense is not common. This is a very important trait for all top leaders to possess. Once you move up in your career you are going to face one problem after another and it is important to use your common sense and inventiveness to solve day to day tribulations If you don’t have common sense you lose your touch with reality and also your people don’t have the confidence that you can solve the problems at their level. Having common sense enables you to see the big picture and the immediate picture as well. According to Merriam Webster, common sense is about exercising “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.” The whole point of developing common sense is to ensure you simplify situations and reduce barriers in communication. As Scott Fitzgerald said “The test of a first-rate astuteness is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
THE BIGGEST C IS CRISIS. Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis.
Many leaders are competent, but few qualify as remarkable. If you want to join the ranks of the best of the best, make sure you embody all these qualities all the time. It isn’t easy, but the rewards can be truly phenomenal.
- Awareness There is a difference between management and employees, bosses and workers. Leaders understand the nature of this difference and accept it; it informs their image, their actions, and their communication. They conduct themselves in a way that sets them apart from their employees–not in a manner that suggests they are better than others, but in a way that permits them to retain an objective perspective on everything that’s going on in their organization.
- Decisiveness All leaders must make tough decisions. It goes with the job. They understand that in certain situations, difficult and timely decisions must be made in the best interests of the entire organization, decisions that require a firmness, authority, and finality that will not please everyone. Extraordinary leaders don’t hesitate in such situations. They also know when not to act unilaterally but instead foster collaborative decision making.
- Empathy Extraordinary leaders praise in public and address problems in private, with a genuine concern. The best leaders guide employees through challenges, always on the lookout for solutions to foster the long-term success of the organization. Rather than making things personal when they encounter problems, or assigning blame to individuals, leaders look for constructive solutions and focus on moving forward.
- Accountability Extraordinary leaders take responsibility for everyone’s performance, including their own. They follow up on all outstanding issues, check in on employees, and monitor the effectiveness of company policies and procedures. When things are going well, they praise. When problems arise, they identify them quickly, seek solutions, and get things back on track.
- Confidence Not only are the best leaders confident, but their confidence is contagious. Employees are naturally drawn to them, seek their advice, and feel more confident as a result. When challenged, they don’t give in too easily, because they know their ideas, opinions, and strategies are well-informed and the result of much hard work. But when proven wrong, they take responsibility and quickly act to improve the situations within their authority.
- Optimism The very best leaders are a source of positive energy. They communicate easily. They are intrinsically helpful and genuinely concerned for other people’s welfare. They always seem to have a solution, and always know what to say to inspire and reassure. They avoid personal criticism and pessimistic thinking, and look for ways to gain consensus and get people to work together efficiently and effectively as a team.
- Honesty Strong leaders treat people the way they want to be treated. They are extremely ethical and believe that honesty, effort, and reliability form the foundation of success. They embody these values so overtly that no employee doubts their integrity for a minute. They share information openly, and avoid spin control.
- Focus Extraordinary leaders plan ahead, and they are supremely organized. They think through multiple scenarios and the possible impacts of their decisions, while considering viable alternatives and making plans and strategies–all targeted toward success. Once prepared, they establish strategies, processes, and routines so that high performance is tangible, easily defined, and monitored. They communicate their plans to key players and have contingency plans in the event that last-minute changes require a new direction (which they often do).
- Inspiration Put it all together, and what emerges is a picture of the truly inspiring leader: someone who communicates clearly, concisely, and often, and by doing so motivates everyone to give his or her best all the time. They challenge their people by setting high but attainable standards and expectations, and then giving them the support, tools, training, and latitude to pursue those goals and become the best employees they can possibly be.
Leadership can be described as the capability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the efficiency and success of an organization or group of which they are members. A person who can bring about change, therefore, is one who has this ability to be a leader.
What qualities does a leader possess?
Leaders possess a number of universal traits
Self-awareness: Knowledge of your own values, passions, skills, strengths and weaknesses, an ability to admit and learn from mistakes and to seek information to fill knowledge gaps.
Integrity: A strong sense of “what is right” and a demonstration of ethical practices that sets the tone for others. A commitment to teaching by example.
Confident: A belief in your ability to meet most challenges that come your way.
Visionary: A strong sense of where you are going as a person and where you think society, your community and your organization should be going – and how it might get there.
Enthusiastic: A lively interest in the people, issues and events around you, a feeling of excitement about the possibilities, and the energy to guide them towards fruition.
Innovative: The ability to “think outside the box;” take risks and develop new and effective solutions to old and emerging problems.
Wisdom: Intelligence coupled with insight and empathy, as opposed to raw intelligence.
Adaptive: A willingness to be flexible and to respond quickly and effectively to changing circumstances, along with a commitment to continual learning – formal and informal – and the ability to put that learning into practice.
Strong inter-personal skills: An ability to interact and work harmoniously with others, while being prepared to take on individual responsibilities.
Efficient communiqué: willingness and ability to listen to and understand the thoughts, ideas and concerns of others and to clearly communicate your own. A vision is nothing if it can’t be sold to others.
Belief in others: The desire to build the capabilities of others, praise them where appropriate, go into bat for them when appropriate, provide them with helpful feedback and motivate them to do their best.
Peer respect: An ability to inspire respect, allowing a person to capably lead discussions, maintain discipline and encourage the contribution of others.
imminent: The ability to see the big picture, a strong sense the stage attained by followers and intuits problems before they arise or before they become insurmountable.
Sense of humor: The ability to laugh at yourself and mitigate tense or stressful situations with humor
Competency: Others are unlikely to follow the lead of a person who does not appear to know what s/he is doing.
Delegation skills: A willingness to trust others and relinquish some responsibility.
Spiritual warmth Is the key to a better communication with others, but primarily towards a better understanding of privacy. It marks your positive attitude in life, determines you to seek and to focus on what it is right and not on what it is wrong. Also, it indicates that you are a wonderful person with a rich spiritual life