In order to understand any responsible organizational or business behaviour, the starting point is the leadership qualities, which contain the personal attributes as well as the beliefs. These deeply deployed personal qualities change and develop slowly and gradually over time. The leadership qualities are the distinctive characteristics and attributes of a good leader. Whether a leader is born or made, what is most important is the talent or traits that a leader acquires that help him to become a successful person in life.
A great leader motivates us to reach places where we would never go our self and to do such things that we would have never thought that we had the zeal to do. However, for this it is necessary that a person inculcates good leadership qualities in himself/herself. Some of the ways to develop good leadership qualities or to have effective leadership include:
To have efficient leadership qualities, it is necessary that a leader knows how and when to prioritize the work. Assigning tasks based on observed performance and giving the authority to complete the tasks in the stipulated period are some of the things that a leader needs to know in order to have effective leadership in an organization. Moreover, a leader must take ownership in handling the tasks on his own, when other people are not able to fully manage the desired tasks.
Teach or Coach
To inculcate good leadership qualities, it is essential that a person is able to teach his skills and share his experiences with the other people. He must exhibit a willingness to work in coordination with the people or the employees to make them more mature and creative to in doing different tasks. Moreover, to teach, it is important to become well organized, a good communicator and have the sense of what he/she wants his disciples to know.
A leader is the one who is able to communicate effectively with the other people or who makes his point clear to the other people without any disruption. To have good leadership skills, one must speak in a way that causes other people to feel inspired about their contribution, growth and development in a particular assignment or task. In fact, good communication skills is the most important attribute in performing effective leadership.
Effective listening gives an opportunity for sharing of ideas, criticism and other feedback that helps in improving the work and the learning environment. A good listener always knows what the speaker actually demands, and what he should do to complete the task. Thus, listening is the key component that is necessary for an effective leadership.
Avoid the role of the main problem solver
To develop efficient leadership, it is highly important that a leader involves the trainees or his employees in solving a particular problem rather than just taking the lead to solve the whole problem by himself. This helps in stimulating the other person’s self-esteem and confidence.
Thus, these are some of the ways in which a person can inculcate effective leadership qualities. Anyone can undergo a leadership development program to inculcate good leadership skills. The primary purpose of a leadership development program is to provide individual focused training to develop leadership skills in a variety of environments. It helps in building the leaders who are able to bridge levels and functions in an organization.
Efficient Leadership Development Programs
An efficient leadership development program includes:
Devising Program Selection Criteria
Criteria to be used for the program selection must be defined. Every strategic business unit or support office unit needs to answer this question differently that is based on a specific strategy, goal and the future leadership demands. To start with, one can find an appropriate match between the present and future demands and the applicant’s personality. Then one can start with the various sub domains of the program. Some of the most essential ones include:
- Desire: It states whether a person wants to lead or wants to get things done by the other people or to make an impact on others.
- Purpose: This domain enlists the vision and goals of a person, so as to what he wants to achieve and how to achieve
- Confidence: This checks whether a person believes he can do a particular task or not
- Psychological Fitness: This is to identify whether a person has an insight, feels comfortable with self, and is open to feedback.
Defining Leadership Competencies
Finding the critical leadership competencies that relate with the company’s efficiency tells us which leadership skills are needed. Some of the organizations make use of the general leadership competencies found in the theory, some build their own and some procure from the company’s mission statement and core values. A moral leadership competency should have some values and behaviors that are enlisted below:
- The willingness to help other people
- Being true to others
- Avoiding the political behaviours and gossips that are generally designed to advance a personal agenda.
- Possessing fairness by promoting equality between genders, races, hierarchical and occupational levels
- Tolerance for different views
Establish an Application Process
The program application process must be simple and accurate. It must be a three-stage procedure that includes advertising the program, evaluating applicant’s suitability and informing them about the final decision.
Assessing Current Leadership Skills
Craft out the valid, reliable and efficient ways to measure the participant’s present leadership styles that are tied to a competency criteria. Some of the best sources of data are the performance appraisals and the 360 degrees leadership surveys. The data assessed must be analyzed and combined by a leadership development program supervisor and fed back to the participant. Such data will provide the necessary information that will be helpful for the participant in making an action plan. The aggregated results will assist in formulating development activities for all the participants in the leadership development program.
Provide Developmental Activities
An individual involved in the leadership development program can formulate an individual leadership program, monitor their difficulties, and get it countersigned by the supervisors. This will help them to take lead for themselves. The leadership development activities occur primarily in three stages:
- Technical: The technical training increases the skills needed to perform the tasks of others. In fact, these skills are most effective in the lower levels of leadership where the leaders are closest to the work. It comprises of combination of the traditional classroom training and OJT.
- Conceptual: In this context, the focus is on making the leader learn how to think in an abstract and critical manner. The conceptual leadership qualities that must be used for assessment are creativity, strategic way of thinking and decisiveness.
- Interpersonal: To be able to work comfortably with the other people is an essential determinant of the leadership success. Having good interpersonal skills is the most difficult of the other three development categories. Some common methods to inherit good and effective interpersonal skills involve role-playing with observer feedback, participating in the organization’s development project, being mentored and many others.
Aligning Structures to Reinforce The Program
The successful leadership development programs identify various ways to tie the desired leadership behavior to the company’s formal systems. The various methods to tie the behaviors according to the organizational systems include:
- Writing the position descriptions that include the aspects of the desired leader behavior as a success factor
- Designing a selection system that assigns heavy weight to the previous leadership successes
- To include leadership as the main component in the leader’s performance appraisal
- Giving a regular feedback
- Removing the leaders who are not performing well
- Develop leaders in context
As possible, the leadership development must occur on the job and not away from it. Leadership is a transaction between a leader and his followers. The main goal is to replace the ineffective behavior with the efficient methods of working together. A team should be built in such a context that it contains the following performance elements:
- Interdependence and commitment to the goals
- Effective communication of ideas and feelings
- Quality decision making and problem solving
- Necessary technical expertise
- Being able to tackle the conflicts with less stress
- Ability and willingness to challenge the various performance norms
- A supportive leader who uses the power perfectly
Making a Plan for the Next Generation of Leaders
Assuming that the organization chooses to build its own talent pool, the leadership succession plan becomes a main part of the development process. One of the diminishing features is that while a leadership development program is a specific program for the developing leaders, the succession planning takes into consideration the combination of leadership development needs, the activities that address these needs and the measure of the leadership readiness across the company. The succession planning involves various steps to develop the leadership talent:
- Assessing the leadership development applicant’s present leadership potential and skills
- Appraisal of the leadership behaviour that uses the formal appraisal systems and surveys
- Finding the future management and leadership needs by forecasting and strategic planning
- Definition of the leadership requirements for the future
- Specifying actions for training and making categories of the participants
Evaluate the Leadership Development Program
The company’s professionals and executives must state the exact nature and scope of the evaluation that is based on the program goals. Moreover, because an evaluation demands time and expertise, the decision of conducting it at any level must be based on the resource availability. Some of the suggestions for evaluating a leadership development program are:
- Making the evaluation robust
- Clearly stating the goals and the intended audience for every developmental activity
- Gathering the baseline data for the participants and comparison teams
- Making use of a control group
These are some of the ways through, which a person can undergo a leadership development program and have effective leadership qualities.
Great Leadership Qualities
After one is fully groomed and becomes an effective leader, there are certain leadership qualities that a great leader must have. Some of the great leadership qualities include:
A leader must always be approachable in any circumstance. There must be a perception in mind of the people who reach him/her that they will not be yelled at or spoken with anger when they reach them. At the heart of approachability is a willingness to listen to the other person first before giving the reaction to the particular circumstance.
It is not essential that a leader should be a great spokesperson, but all that is needed is that he must be able to articulate in an efficient manner about whatever he thinks and feels. A vision is not the only thing required until and unless it can be given to others in such a way that motivates them to be a part of the journey. In a concise manner, it can be said that a leader need not himself be articulate but must be able to articulate well with others.
Leaders should not be two faced. He must be same on the surface as he is from inside. Real leaders must never be fake and always must be the same with the employees as they are in their general nature rather than faking themselves.
Most leaders have a positive impact on the surroundings by speaking clearly and precisely. They are attentive and involved and know exactly what they want. Communicating effectively makes a good impression on the people those the leaders depend on to get their respective work done.
Leaders need to have a basic level of competence that is appropriate to understand the problems and evaluate the talent. Though it is not important that a leader must be technically efficient, but still if they are it is an add on to the skills of the leader that will help the organization to reach better heights.
Some other basic leadership qualities that a leader must have include being directive, confident, disciplined, fair, grateful, curious and most importantly honest. Thus in order to develop good leadership skills one must embark on different leadership development programs and inherit the desired leadership qualities.