Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”
To run the world effectively, you need, above all, a good leader with great leadership qualities. But who is a good leader, that is the most important question. The simplest answer to this question is that the one who can do the work and can get the work done is the leader. It is easy to get a job done when the team is ready, but the challenge for a leader comes when the team has a different vision and does not want to do a certain task.
Can he now become ruthless and empathetic to get the job done? What leadership qualities does a leader need? Does he always need to be a personality that pleases people, or does he need to take actions that the team may not like at first, but need to be taken because they are right and will be beneficial in the future. Let’s dive deeper and understand more about leadership qualities that a good leader should posses.
Leadership And Character
Leadership is more than just commanding a group of people; it requires a person of exemplary character. The essence of leadership is encapsulated in the phrase “To be, to do, to see, to tell,” with emphasis on “to be” as the foundation of leadership. It is important to embody virtues before preaching them: “Transform yourself first and then preach to others.” as said by Sri Sathya Sai Baba goes well for a leader. Character is the primary factor in becoming an effective leader. Nonetheless, it is important to describe a person of character with some clarity.
Speaking of the leadership qualities shared by Buddha, Jesus, Shankaracharya, Vivekananda, and many saints, that made them memorable to the world, it’s true that the qualities that make up flawless characters are love, patience, forbearance, steadfastness, and charity.
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The four essential leadership qualities of a good leader are:
A good leader must consider the well-being of all, rather than just their own interests. This prime leadership quality is reflected in one’s attitude, words, and actions. Self-confidence or faith is a key part of selflessness, and the culmination of self-realization is only assured when we move from an attitude of “me” and “mine” to “we” and “ours.”
One must cultivate the courage to face adverse situations and develop the capacity to discriminate and behave in accordance with the time, place, and circumstance. Blind and foolish courage should be avoided.
Willpower is the king of all faculties and the source of all other faculties. A good leader must have the willpower to persist despite setbacks and difficulties that may arise. It requires enthusiasm for staying the course and continuing with determination.
Effective leaders are always two steps ahead of events and could assess and initiate things independently. This requires intelligent anticipation and resourcefulness. Initiative comes from discrimination, forethought, visualizing problems before they arise, being mentally prepared with alternate plans of action, and asking daily, “What can I/we do today to contribute to the excellence of my/our role?”
Is Aggressiveness A Trait Of Dictator?
Aggressiveness is usually considered a negative trait, and we often feel that a good leader should not embrace it, but this is actually a big mistake. Aggressiveness is one of the most important leadership qualities a leader must possess. It is this aggressiveness that gets the job done. This aggressiveness is good as long as the leader’s intentions are pure and, in the team’s, best interest.
There is a slight difference between a leader, a boss and a dictator. A leader always has pure intentions and the welfare of the team in mind, and therefore his aggressiveness is never accompanied by apathy, callousness, disregard and selfishness. The best example of this is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who through his aggressive leadership qualities secured this empire and became an exemplary leader that generations looked up to.
Adolf Hitler, on the other hand, was so pumped up by his egocentric motives that his aggressiveness was always unsympathetic and ruthless. It is his ego that gives him a bad name, and he is never seen as a leader but as a dictator.
A Leader Needs To Be A Servant First
The difference between a good leader and a great leader is the service he performs for his people. The best example of this is the service of Lord Krishna by becoming the charioteer of Arjun. He served him first to guide him in the right direction. When a leader learns to serve his people, his every action becomes selfless.
In the present time, we can consider Mr. Ratan Tata as one of the best examples of this. It is his service to humanity that makes him a great leader whom all people of all races, castes, creeds and ages look up to.
Above All These Qualities Lies Dynamism
A leader must always be dynamic. His humility, service and aggressiveness takes a back seat if he is not dynamic. He must have that zeal that lights a fire in everyone who looks at him. He should constantly seek new opportunities, experiences and challenges, and not be afraid to take risks to achieve his goals.
Our honorable Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi has this dynamism that has made him one of the most respected and revered leaders not only in India but in the entire world.
How To Be The Guiding Light For Future Leaders
Unfortunately, today there are very few perfect leaders to look up to. Unlike in the past, today’s leaders are not setting the best examples for younger generations to follow. People in leadership roles have a great responsibility in shaping the character and quality of character of the youngers through their scholarly work and leadership skills. They must avoid selfish motives and political maneuvering and focus on spiritual enlightenment as their ideal in life. Only a young person with good leadership qualities can become a great leader. Social service is an essential part of preparing for leadership roles, and everyone should understand that their happiness is linked to the happiness of society.
Today’s world is struggling to develop these leadership qualities, despite great achievements in the physical realm. By studying the ancient history of Bharath, people can realize the importance of truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence in becoming a great leader. Those who understand the spirit of service can become true leaders.
About The Author
Dr. Annusuiya Gohil (MD Scholar)
All India Institute of Ayurveda
Expert in Immunity, Diet & Lifestyle daily routine