Defining Leadership

The Top Five Leadership Qualities

Daegan Smith asked:

In history, there have been various definitions of what a leader is. Some theories associate leadership with certain traits that can be observed right from childhood. Some people think that a leader is forged by the fires of need and that great leaders will rise when the situation calls for it. Some people think that leaders are determined by their actions when they are given the responsibility of leadership. There are, however, five leadership qualities that stand out:

1) Influence – One of the main leadership qualities is the ability to influence other people. This influence is often exerted in order to achieve a certain goal. The ability to influence people has been manifested in various ways. Some have used tyranny and fear in order to get their followers to do what they want. That method may seem effective at first, but the fact is that this is not good for the long term. A leader who uses strength to compel people will sooner or later grow weak and his leadership will be gone.

Most successful leaders influence their followers by proving that following their directions can benefit the whole. These leaders maintain their leadership because they have proven that they are able to actually spearhead the progress of their followers. There can be no denying that influence is one of the pillar leadership qualities.

2) Followers – Of course, there have to be followers in order for there to be a leader. A man cannot call himself a leader if he has no followers. For what then, would he be leading? This is probably the most important of the leadership qualities. The followers make the leader and give him his status. They define the leader. A leader without followers is merely a sad, arrogant man.

3) Special Ability- This allows the leader to handle special problems when the need arises. A leader leads because there is some quality in him that lets him handle a problem when his followers cannot face that problem on their own. He or she rises to the fore when that special problem arises. This leadership quality is very important because if a leader does not have this, then there would be nothing distinguishing him from his followers.

4) Will – A leader must have the will to use his abilities. Leadership entails a great deal of responsibility. Although certain circumstances often thrust a person into leadership, that person will not be a leader unless he or she is willing. This is an important leadership quality because it determines the continuance of the leadership. This leadership quality determines the extent of how the leader will use his or her abilities to achieve the goal of the community. A willing leader would be able to push himself far beyond his or others’ expectations in order to achieve the goal.

5) Purpose – A leader needs to have purpose. He or she cannot lead his or he followers if he or she has no idea where he or she is leading them. People become leaders in order to achieve goals. However, having a goal is not enough. In order for a goal to become a purpose, the leader must know the reasoning behind that goal. A leader will not blindly lead his or her followers to achieve a goal that is without meaning. This leadership quality determines where the leadership will go.

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