Here are some key qualities and character traits that make a great leader. Nurture them in you and shine as a leader even during these tough times of tight budgets, higher stresses, and other challenges.
A good leader creates more leaders
There are some who are born leaders; there are others who become leaders when they come in contact with good leaders. One of the signs of a good leader is that he creates more leaders not just followers. He takes good care of those whom he is leading. He delegates responsibility.
Leads by example
Another sign of a good leader is that he leads by example. Instead of just issuing orders or asserting his leadership, he shows the way by first doing things himself. He does not consider himself to be better than everybody else and feels a sense of belongingness with the team he leads.
Does not worry about position
A good leader is well aware that the respect he gains through virtues is very different from the respect acquired through the position he enjoys. He knows that the respect brought by position is short-lived and temporary. Being the chairman of a committee or a president of another are temporary phases. Positions come and go. But the respect that he gets for being a nice person, for his virtues and attitude, is authentic and long lasting.
Has sharp observation, perception and expression
A good leader takes the responsibility to ensure that people understand what he wants to say. To express yourself effectively you need right observation and perception. This depends on your ability to see the situation from other peoples’ points of view and get a multi-dimensional understanding of a situation or a person. When a leader develops patience to listen keenly to those working under him, his power to express himself grows naturally. Spiritual practices bring centredness, patience and sharpness in observation, perception and expression.
Focused on goal and does not cling to the means
While leading a project, it is important to acknowledge different means of achieving the goals so that you are not stuck with one plan. Give an ear to others. If one plan does not work, be prepared to implement the next and if even that is not effective try out a different approach. A successful leader is one who does not cling to the means; he is more focused on reaching the goal. He does not lose sight of the goal. When challenges come remember that you are bigger than any challenges you face. Recalling this fact, ‘I am bigger than the challenges that are in front of me’, will give you enormous confidence and energy to sail through tough situations.
Competes with oneself and not with others
One who is centred and has a broad vision doesn’t look at others for comparison or competition. You only have to enhance your own creativity. If at all you want to compete, just compete with yourself — see how well you did last year, how much more you want to do this year. Focus on enhancing your own capabilities. It is like running a race — when you run, you should not look to your sides. If you do, trying to see who is running faster, then you will lose the race. Your eyes should be focused only on your track and you should give your 100%. And then, you will see that whether you win or lose, you are happy.
One of the most desired qualities of a true leader is the courage to stretch his hands to his critics and have the patience to listen to them. Don’t shy away from criticism. Everyone should have the ability to take criticism and give criticism. Be open to criticism from others. If there is any substance in their crtiticism, take it or else laugh it off. At the same time be ready to give constructive criticism wherever, whenever needed.