You can develop good leadership qualities. Anyone who desires to become a leader that people love to follow makes it happen. Leadership isn’t a title or a position; it is a disposition.
If you can dream to change the world and pay for it with everything you have, you are a leader.
What is a good leader?
A good leader is a person who has the leadership qualities, competence, and mindset to make positive change happen. A good leader is an exemplary leader. He walks the talk. He is a visionary. He disrupts us, motivates us, and builds us.
We need good leaders at every level of the organization. Good leaders begin with self-leadership. And you accelerate your growth through adversities.
No one person is fit to do all leadership jobs because no one leader can lead everyone.
I know some managers who are “overqualified” to get the job done. They have both degrees and pedigrees. But they fail to connect with people. They don’t see eye to eye with the people they lead.
I’ve been there, and I have done that. I heard this statement from managers who believe that what worked in the past will work in the future. They brag about their experiences as if past experiences consistently predict the future.
Of course, our history can help us predict the future if we keep doing the same things. But creators, innovators, and change-makers do not do same-same and safe. Instead, they challenge the status quo. They create and innovate; They are ahead of what’s possible.
Good leaders develop good leaders.
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What are leadership qualities?
Leadership qualities are the distinctive attributes or characteristics possed by good leaders. Leadership qualities may also refer to the standards we use to measure the level of excellence of one leader against another.
For example, a young leader like Vico Sotto has shown more creativity and innovativeness than traditional politicians. In times of crisis, he found ways to help his constituencies in Pasig.
Leni Robredo is known for honest, responsible, principled, and decisive leadership. On the other hand, Bong Bong Marcos is known for the ability to bring traditional politicians together.
The qualities of good leaders are defined differently. No one possesses all the qualities I will explain in this article. Most times, they don’t have to.
Different leadership qualities are required for different situations. This is why many wartime leaders disappear in times of peace.
Given everything that happened during the regime of Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines needs the leadership qualities possessed by Leni Robredo.
Competencies may help you leaders execute plans. But it is the qualities of good leaders that attracts people to them.
You attract people who believe you have the qualities of a leader they need.
What do you attract?
Leadership characteristics attract.
People gravitate toward someone whose leadership qualities they admire. Some leadership characteristics are innate. Somehow, you got them as you were growing old. But most leadership qualities are like muscles.
They grow with exercise.
Leadership isn’t a title or a position; it is a disposition.
If you dream of changing the world, pay for it with everything you have.
There is a seed of leadership in each of us. Choose to germinate that seed and plant it in fertile soil. Water it. Place it where the sun shines.
Don’t wait for someone to promote you to leadership. Do not wait for your organization to build you. You’ve got to be deliberate in developing your character as you build your leadership competencies.
Find that organization or community that will support you and help you thrive. Choose your company. Pick one that will make you grow and be too happy to stay.
I am saying this because every organization has a leadership development program.
Even those organizations that do not provide leadership training for employees. Those organizations develop leaders through everyday practice. And if the environment is unfavorable, it might become difficult for you to bear fruit.
You, the individual leader, can define the kind of change you want. You can grow your leadership. And you can put yourself in a position where you can thrive.
How are you as a leader?
Grow the Leader In You
There is a seed of leadership in each of us. We can choose to germinate that seed and plant it in fertile soil where it gets enough sunlight and water.
We don’t have to wait for someone to promote us to leadership. We don’t have to wait for our organizations to build us. We can do it ourselves.
Of course, we ought to find that organization or community that will support us and make us thrive. Choose your company. Pick one that will make you grow and be too happy to stay.
I am saying this because every organization has a leadership development program.
Even those organizations that do not provide leadership training for employees. They develop leaders through everyday practice. And if the environment is unfavorable, it might become difficult for you to bear fruit.
You, the individual leader, can define for yourself the kind of change you want. You can grow your leadership. And you can put yourself in a position where you can thrive.
Steps to Develop Leadership Qualities
Developing leadership qualities is like developing leadership skills. You do it on purpose and cultivate it with practice. Your new leadership quality must be helpful to you.
Let us say that you want to have the quality of being a visionary.
Visionary leaders strive to create a future that they care about. They are the “possible” people. Most people see things as they are, but visionary leaders see the world as what it ought to be.
Visionary leaders think big. They dream big. This is why they act big too. Visionaries challenge the status quo.
Step 1: Begin with why.
Why do you want to become a visionary leader?
It might be because you are a politician in a sleepy town, and you desire for change to happen. You don’t want to waste the potential of your town. Its current leaders are not capable of change. Because you have seen other places and met other leaders, you believe your town needs a visionary leader.
It might be because you got a leadership job in your company. Your boss needs managers who can articulate the vision of the organization. She wants you to lead your people.
Be clear about your reason why you want to develop specific leadership qualities. Being visionary, for example, is not just about dreaming big.
Step 2: Set your standards.
Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, Andres Bonifacio, Ninoy Aquino, and Obama are visionary leaders. They all dreamt of a better future.
Hitler is a visionary too.
Each of them embraces different principles of leadership. Each possesses a unique combination of leadership qualities. One thing they have in common is that they were all visionaries.
Study the lives of great leaders, find your models, and set your standards. You will gravitate to some of them. You will realize that your values are similar to theirs.
My method is to identify three persons that I admire. Then, I describe why I admire each. Then, I create a three-circle Venn diagram. The sweet spot is where I want to be.
Step 3: Live and lead.
Every leadership quality must be experienced if you want to learn them. You don’t become a visionary leader by reading a book. Instead, you have to identify the skills and behaviors of leaders who have changed the world.
Visionary leaders can articulate their vision. They use words to paint a new tomorrow. In contrast, leaders who lack vision tend to blame others for their failure to lead.
Visionary leaders talk about your vision too. What they do is to make you understand that you have a shared vision. These leaders consistently remind you why you continue doing what you are doing.
They also know how to communicate based on the level of understanding and interest of their listeners. They speak from the gut.
Visionary leaders start small. They keep rolling until to gain momentum. That is because most people find it challenging to leave their comfort zone.
Identify the skills and behaviors of the visionary leader that you want to be. Then, keep small steps until everyone is ready.
Leadership qualities are like muscles. You ought to keep learning until you become the person that you really want to be.
I recommend you read the following articles.
17 Principles for Leadership Success. Your leadership principles are your foundational beliefs about leading people. Early in your leadership journey, you define your principles to make small and big decisions.
How to Become an Effective Leader. If you want to know how to become an effective leader, you will find many ways to achieve your goals.
Why Good Leaders Are Good Followers. Some leaders believe that they don’t answer to anyone. But, just like many megalomaniacs, they die hated. Good leaders are good followers. Understand what it means and find out how you can spread this principle in your organization.
Give 10x More. Leaders are multipliers. First, they try to increase their value tenfold, a hundredfold, and a thousandfold. One person cannot change a nation. But one person who can inspire millions can make people embrace their power. So, never underestimate yourself. Multiply your value tenfold.
Be a Creative Leader. In the olden days, leaders wage war against its others because they are victims of scarcity. There is not enough land, not enough food, not enough power, and not enough money for everyone. Unfortunately, many leaders until now live in that paradigm. But some find ways to multiply our resources which results in minimal effort. Those are the creative leaders.