What It Takes to be a Leader.
Leadership is all about charisma, courage and conviction. True leaders never exercise any brute power rather they inspire, motivate others and show ways to accomplish the task in hand. …
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While peeping into the history of several great leaders, they are found abound with several discerning traits in their style of functioning. It would be most appropriate to identify the exemplary skills that make one effective and inspiring leader across all cultures, societies and communities. Integrity President Eisenhower once said, "The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office" (Forbes, 2013). Leaders with integrity do and preach the same things; no difference is found in their saying and doing. People get inspired only when they see their leaders full of integrity in their day-to-day activities. It needs to be noted that without integrity, leaders cannot create a lasting image on their followers, peers, or subordinates. Courage Primarily, it requires courage to be a leader. Courage does not mean becoming a great warrior in the battlefield that fires enemies but the real courage is to do the right things always regardless of its consequences. Leaders display courage to go against traditional thinking and take risks without jeopardizing their integrity, values and ethics. Moreover, their courage never derives its strength from official power sources. I do not consider Stalin, Mussolini or Hitler as true leaders because their courage emanates from the powers they relish as rulers. That is why they could not make any good for their citizens or humankind. Contrasting this, M. K. Gandhi or Martin Luther King had no powers whatsoever but they turned the tide in their favor by sheer inspirational and motivational abilities. Truly, Gandhi and King were courageous leaders as they faced rulers bare handedly putting their own life at risk. They were charismatic leaders who could garner mass support through non-violent means. Empowerment Empowerment is a buzzword of twenty first century and since industrial revolution, the world has moved a lot – in last hindered years or so using this philosophy. Leaders disseminate power from source to periphery and empower people as per their capacities. This enhances self-respect and dignity of the people. Empowered people tend to work at best of their abilities delivering excellent outcomes. A leader tends to provide direction to the people but never controls and restricts them. At the same time, effective leaders share success with others and take blame of failures on them. In real sense, a true leader becomes a facilitator on the path for smooth trotting. In today's corporate world, young adults, wherever they work, love autonomy and leaders respect it because it is easy to bring organizational change by giving them more operational freedom. Bill Gates says, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others” (Pritchard, 2011). How true his statement is! Creative and Visionary Creativity, innovativeness or foresightedness is a specialty of an effective leader. Leaders see the future upheavals much in advance and accordingly, formulate their plan. However, they are found to be hardworking and dedicated but the quality that set them apart is their vision. As the world becomes more technology driven, the leadership will come in the hands of those people who are highly creative. Steve Jobs got a second stint in Apple because he was highly creative in his approach. He designed, built and marketed the products in the ways that many large companies, during the time, could not even think of. Emotional Intelligence Emotional intelligence is a hallmark of true leaders. Intelligence at cognitive level is just not sufficient to make someone an
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