Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Five Qualities of Effective Leadership

Leadership is a badly needed commodity here in the new millenium. With corporate scandals like Enron and Tyco dominating the business headlines, shady politicians showing off their wares in Washington and get-rich quick schemers all over the Internet - leaders are needed now more than ever.

Leaders are born not made is the standard. To hell with standards. The old cliche is wrong and has been proven wrong time and time again. Leaders are made not born should be the rallying cry for all.

In business, sports, politics, even in your local communities, leadership is needed. Leadership by example not words. Anyone can say flattering things and make heaps of promises, but few act on what they promise and get the job done.

There are five qualities of effective leadership and for the rest of this article, that's what the focus will be on. Learn them, use them, integrate them into your psyche and apply them. Step up and take the reins of effective leadership.

The Five Qualities of Effective Leadership

1. Decisiveness - Leaders are goal-oriented and make decisions quickly. Once a decision is made, they are slow to change it. Leaders create plans to achieve the goals that have been set and clearly communicate their objectives to others. To be an effective leader the first key is be decisive.

2. Inspirational - Leaders inspire others to be better than they ever thought they could be. Leaders lead by their own example and wouldn't ask anyone to do something they wouldn't do. They promote and praise others in public and give constructive criticism in private. To be an effective leader, inspiring others is the second key.

3. Belief in Self - Leaders have a strong sense of their own destiny and ability. Leaders have the courage to face fears and realize that the goal will be accomplished no matter what obstacles are in the way. Leaders have solid self-belief and pass that faith on to others. Leaders are winners. The ability to believe that nothing is impossible is the third key for effective leaders.

4. Ability to Work Well with Others - A good leader must get along with his people. Leadership by fear will not last long, no matter how successful it may be at first. Leaders need to co-operate with those under them. They must put aside personality differences for the good of the organization. Leaders must learn to delegate - no one can accomplish anything alone. Leaders must learn to be good listeners. Good ideas can come from anywhere and looking and listening for those is of paramount importance. Co-operation is the fourth key to being an effective leader.

5. Discipline and Character - Leaders need to be disciplined and of high character. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes, but true leaders refuse to take shortcuts or do anything that would compromise their principles or those of the organization. When character is lost, problems arise. Just look at Enron for a perfect example. Leaders discipline their time, their methods and themselves. High character and discipline are the fifth and final key to effective leadership.

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