Leaders are a necessity. Society is an organization, and as such, will not grow or flourish without leadership. Effective leadership has qualities that marks it out. It achieves. What are some of the qualities of such leadership?
A Mastery of task
Any leader worth their salt ought to have a mastery of the task over which they lead. It is equally acceptable to be gifted at selecting the best of candidates to fill in the areas where the leader cannot be.
No leader can be reasonably expected to hold all the key positions.
B Earns the respect of the followers
This is closely related to the above. No leadership can expect loyal followers if there is no clarity as to the direction in which the organization is heading. Coercion and bullying tactics hardly earn respect. If the leadership is clear sighted and effective, those being led can confidently look towards the leader, whenever there is the need.
The leader who is interested only in self is easily spotted. There is generally little or no support for followers. The leader who will take all the credit, even for the output of those being led cannot long expect to retain any respect. The leader represents, and is an embodiment of the aspirations of the followers.
D Sharp and decisive
A leader who cannot make decisions cannot truly be seen as a leader. Decisions have to be made on several issues, sometimes several times in a given day. Making decisions is a marker of a leader. As far as leadership qualities goes, this quality is priceless. It eliminates a lack of direction in any organizaion.
The leader who is not accessible can hardly identify with those being led. Even reasonable instructions appear as dictations when such instructions come from faceless leadership.
F Has the working Solution or knows Strategy and tactics of the organization
This boils down to the fellow with the answers or solutions. If those being led do not what to do next, the leader cannot afford to be in the same position. The leader usually knows a thing or two which others do not necessarily know. Leaders can be creative. They might even be visionary, depending on the situation.
G Communication, Communication and more communication
Leadership ought to lead. This is done by communication. This communication can be verbal or non-verbal, but there must be communication. Relationships are built on communications and the leader who cannot communicate cannot build those relationships.
Communication is at the heart of leadership.
Of course there are many styles of leadership and at times, the style employed depends on desired outcome. The above are by no means exhaustive, but where any of those skills are lacking, the difference is usually clear.
It is sometimes inferred that leaders are born, not made. This may or may not be the case. It may, however, explain the difference between a leader and a manager.
One is not necessarily the other.
By John Benson