Daegan Smith asked:
Leadership is such a common word, especially among organizations and companies, that its true meaning is sometimes lost. Few individuals can really define what a leader is. Most would probably equate a leader with a manager. But management is just one of the aspects of leadership.
But more than knowing what a leader is the more important question to answer is if you are one or not. Do you know the qualities that make up a true leader? Do you have what it takes to be a leader?
Below are just some of the basic and most important traits of leaders. It is highly advisable that you read each one carefully then ask yourself if you possess these traits or not. Then maybe in the end you can already tell if you are a leader or not.
You are a leader if you value each individual and see them as capable and responsible persons who have the potential to become great. True leaders view leadership as a means to empower individuals and help them recognize their own values and strengths. Real leaders make people feel that they are important and that they are part of a good and productive cause. Ordinary managers may miss the good characteristics of a person but leader will see them because they consciously seek for them.
You are a leader if you see yourself as part of the team and if you are willing to do anything that you ask your team members to do. True leaders are not mere directors or coaches who call the shots from the sidelines. Real leaders are willing to sweat it out in the filed together with his team mates. A real leader sees himself as a contributor and not only as an advisor.
You are a leader if you employ the Golden Rule and if you believe that it is the only way to lead others. This means that leaders should treat other individuals the exact way they wanted to be treated. Real leaders command respect and admiration because they also treat other individuals, even those considered below him, with the same respect and admiration.
You are a leader if you have the ability to bring out the best in other persons. A real leader has the special talent of discovering hidden potential in individuals that can help in reaching goals of a company or organization. How do leaders do this? By being observant and patient and most importantly through listening to others.
You are a leader if you treat people equally. A real leader does not play favorites. They don’t allow personal feeling to cloud their judgments and they always try to be fair and give everyone their due.
You are a leader if you are a good role model. A true leader consciously acts in ways that they would like others to emulate. They know that people look up to them that’s why they are careful of the things they say and do.
You are a leader if you know when to give rewards and when to render punishments. And whenever he gives rewards or punishments, he always makes sure that it is accurate and timely, commensurate to the act committed.
You are a leader if you are organized, efficient and prepared. A true leader treats time and money as valuable resources that should not be wasted. This is why they strive hard to become organized and efficient. They also try to be ready for any unexpected situation or emergency so whenever a disaster or any untoward incident arrives, his or her organization or company will suffer the least of consequences.
You are a leader if you know how to build, manage and inspire a team or group of people. Knowing how to make diverse individuals work together and bring out the best in them in such a way that everyone benefits is probably the best trait of a leader. Of course most people know how to handle individuals be it their friend, parent of spouse but only true leaders can make several individuals work together to reach a specific goal.
Of course there are many other qualities that make up a leader. The ones enumerated above are just the basic traits of a good leader.