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Traits of a Leader

Which is the Most Important Characteristic of Leadership?

Muna wa Wanjiru asked:

World without leader would cease to exist.  Since time immemorial, leaders have guided humanity in their struggle for survival. A leader shows us a ray of light in darkness, makes our future brighter and life much simpler; he brings hope and happiness in our life. 

What are the characteristic of leadership; people often wonder.  Why is it that someone is a leader and someone a follower? It has been observed that a leader possess certain qualities which are markedly different from the common masses.  While the common man get entangled in their routine life, the leaders often overcome these difficulties and decides to bring radical changes in the environment in which he is living.  

There are two kinds of people in this world, proactive and reactive.  Reactive people give vent to their anger whereas proactive people think for future and try to find lasting solution to any problem.  When Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out of the train, he did not react at that moment but instead he devised a strategy, which threw the British out from India forever, indeed a lasting solution.  Being proactive is considered one of the most important characteristic of leadership. 

Having the capability of taking tough decision is considered an important characteristic of leadership.  Acting tough also means having the ability to withstand peoples’ ire.  Sometimes some decisions are unpopular but one needs to take it for the overall benefit of the people, which might be essential for better future.  A leader should demonstrate tremendous courage during that period.  

A leader is always focused towards his goal. He exhibits complete dedication towards his work and he demonstrates tremendous self-confidence.  A leader is not fickle minded, he is determined; his communication with his people is very effective.  He never gets carried away by emotions.  His emotional quotient is exemplary and he never takes decision based on his whims and fancies.  He is the persona of enthusiasm.  He creates positive energy around his surroundings energizing each and everyone around him.  Infact people take great pleasure in working with such people. 

Ability to motivate others is a vital characteristic of leadership. Anyone devoid of this characteristic should not even dream to become a leader.  People stick to a leader because they find them to be motivational.  Once people get motivated they stick to their leader and work tireless for the leader helping him in achieving his objective.  If people will not get motivated then why will he come to the leader?     

It is believed that certain characteristic of leadership is by birth.  Someone is a born orator, someone is a born singer and someone is a born writer.  True to certain extent but it is also true that there is nothing in this world, which cannot be achieved by dint of hard work.  Mahatma Gandhi started exhibiting his leadership trait when he became young and to a great surprise Swami Prabhupad founder of ISKCON who spread the Hare Krishna movement in the west started preaching when he was in his sixties.  So it is nothing that cannot be learned.

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