Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Inevitable qualities for a leader! Mark yourself out of 10 for each. Target reaching 10/10 someday.

Read this with patience. The length of this article is too small in front of the strength it can give you. So be patient.

You are reader no.:Sujit Lalwani

These are a few qualities for a leader to possess, if he/she wants to be a quality leader. Leadership is all about leading your team to greater heights, which happens by elevating yourself to heights.

Most leaders are bothered by this question, am I leading well. Mentors are surely the greatest help we could have got to solve this question for ourselves. But self-evaluation is as important as having a mentor. The Following is list of qualities which will help you evaluate yourself. Mark yourself monthly/biweekly against each of these qualities (out of 10). This system would help you if you ensure you are honest to yourself. It will orient your self-analysis and give it a foundation.

The following article also contains a slight hint on acquiring these qualities. Its against "Howto:" under each quality.

Qualities a leader must possess :

1. Analytical- A great leader, must have great analytical skills. He must be able to anticipate outcomes, analyse the problems, offer different strokes for different folks. What misses the eye of most is caught by a great leader.
Howto: To develop this just spend a little more time understanding things, than jumping to conclusions too quickly. Also ensure you keep solving some puzzles. That keeps your brain cells active.

2. Self-driven - A great leader leads himself. Does not need a motivator always. He knows his purpose clear and can walk as many extra miles, to achieve it.
Howto: To be self driven, Your purpose needs to clear and you need to reinforce in yourself, infinite number of times.

3. Aggression - A great leader does not always pamper his team. He knows "spare the rod, and spoil the child". But over aggression is also harmful. You need to strike a balance.
Howto: Anything that you can pretend for first 30 days, becomes your habit. If you have never been aggresive before, observe successful people who possess aggression. (It needs to be used only when required)

4. Assertiveness - A great leader is assertive in his communication.
Howto:Know your points clearly. Know your objectives clearly. Be honest. If you do these you will automatically be assertive.

5. Domineering - A great leader knows how to get things done from his team.
Howto: Its important that a leader commands respect for his commands. Never demand. You need to be domineering if you need to push your team out of comfort zone.

6. Self-Confident - Confident about his strengths and ideas.
Howto: This comes with clarity about what you sell. Know your product and the benefits of the product without slightest of ambiguity. Also understand your target market clearly.

7. Outspoken - A great leader should not be reserved. Reserved people make no leaders.
Howto: Start interacting more with strangers. Start listening more and communicate to people you know. Slowly once you get into the tune of placing your opinion in front of people without fear, you will have this quality.

8. Warm & Friendly - Professionals also want friends after all. Nothing great if a person can find a friend in a leader itself. A great leader knows to draw the line between being too friendly and too professional.
Howto: Be yourself with your team sometimes, you will make a great friend.

9. Chamelion like (in a positive way)- you must know how to adapt to situations in seconds. Hence being carried away by a particular mood for too long is not the trait of a great leader.
Howto: Upto the reader to observe and learn.

10. Good with numbers - A great leader cannot be weak at calculations. Accounts are the foundation stone of business. (ofcourse after people)
Howto: Practice daily accounting. Practice playing with numbers.

11. Problem Solver - A great leader can tackle problems like breaking open an egg. Its that easy for him. Just understand the right place to hit.
Howto: Start solving the problems of your people. Solve your own first ofcourse.

13. Flexible (not rigid) - A great leader does not keep his work timings rigid. You need to be sometimes available at odd times.
Howto: Break your mental barriers of time availability. Have true care for your team's progress.

14. Having a high sense of urgency - A great leader is not a slow coach. You need to be quick. The world is moving fast. You never cook today, and eat the following week. The issues in companies/organisations need to be sorted out then and there. Sales calls need to be made immediately. A delayed follow up call is surely a sale lost.
Howto: Keep reminding yourself about this everytime you are into activity.

15. Independent - Dependent people are not leaders. Dependent person can only lead until his source is actively leading him. Everything collapses once source collapses. Independent leaders are FIGHTERS, they know their role and visions.
Howto: Start being self dependent. Learn from mentors do it yourself. Picture yourself as an independent leader, and start practicising from, right now.

16. Strong Willed - Will power is very strong in a great leader. The ability to take decisions and stick to them until they are proven the best, is called will power. The ability to make things happen, not wait for them to happen.
Howto: YOU NEEDS GUTS. Strong willpower is inside all of us. PULL IT OUT!

17. Higher than average level street smart people - A leader should be really street smart to tackle out those extra intelligent people in the market who will try posing problems for you. Also be smart enough to elude the problems created by these people in the team who are hypocrits. Awareness about the world in general in all different fields is highly appreciated.
Howto: Just remember - "IF U R'NT UPDATED, U'LL GET OUTDATED"

18. Passionate about everything he does - A great leader can take his team through any kind of phases of the organisation/company, because passion has the power to glide things smoothly even on a nasty tide.
Howto: People love to be with people who can fill energy in them. Love what you do.

19. Energetic & ever enthusiastic - A great leader must act like a energy booster for the team. Every flight needs fuel. A leader is an infinite reservoir of positive energy for the team.
Howto: Surround yourself with such people. Be a person who follows his heart. Dont be affected by the mocking and comments of others. Know yourself. If there is a point doing something, its in doing it well and enthusiastically.

20. Possesses relaxed passion - Dont get too excited about things.
Howto: Do your homework on this. Relaxed passion is something where you are not desparate for praise neither vulnerable to comments of people.

21. Team Player - To lead a team you need to understand its dynamics, and hence a great leader is always a great team player.
Howto: Involve in the activities on the field with your team every now and then. Remember "Never do things, for your team Do it with them"

Patience - A great leader knows, Rome was not built in a day.
Howto: You are already having patience. Thats what got you to read this line.

I wish you a great future in leading. May you lead your team to the highest of the heights.

This article is the product of my journey of leading a versatile network today. My network has a huge diversity in terms of occupational backgrounds of people, their age groups, their intellect levels, place of stay etc. But the best part is we have a common vision, the growth of computer literacy of the country. We are all hardcore promoters of online computer education.(I lead an approximate active leaders team of 300+ people - through whom i manage a network of more than 6300 people).

PS : the qualities have not been listen in any order of importance. They are all important. All of them together complete a leader. If you are lacking a few of them, or are low on some of them. Its not a worry. Atleast you have got oriented and now your know what are your strengths and weakness.

"Maximise your strengths and minimise your weaknesses"

Feel free to comment. Hope this post helps you lead your team to success.


Your feedback will be appreciated.