What Makes a Leader?

The Character Based Leader

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One factor that makes a team work better is having a good leader. However, how do you distinguish one anyway? What stands out? What makes a leader?

Actually, there are a few distinguishing “marks” that makes one stand out. We’re talking about what makes a leader a cut above the rest.

To know what it is, for the people he leads, what to do they look for in a leader?

In any organization where you need to achieve a goal with a group. Of course, the members of the team would want to have a leader that they could get along with, task-oriented, and of course morally upright. In detail, it is important that the leader:

Has people skills –  The leader should be able to get along well with others. The leader interacts with every person in the team and should just be rightfully be able to get along with people.

Is Task Oriented – The leader should know what work should need to be done to achieve the goal. He knows the tasks involved and how to the team can achieve the final outcome.

Is Morally Upright – Never mind if gets along with everybody and can get results, but does he do them the right way? What use is a leader if he has no integrity? Being ethical is still best in any situation. A morally upright leader speaks volumes about his group as well.

And to be that kind of leader as mentioned above, here are several characteristics that the leader must have:

Trusted and Respected – Trust and respect are one of the things that should be established. This is paramount. There should be trust between the team members and the leader. It’s a group effort – a goal is achieved when all the members do what they need to do.

And for a team to work, they should be able to trust each other. Most especially the leader. They need to trust the leader to do his job. And the leader should also trust his people to do well in theirs.

Regarding respect, the leader should be respectable and respectful. Respect is a two-way street. One shouldn’t expect to be respected when he treats people unkindly. Respect begets respect. Trust and respect is gained. In order for the leader to earn this, he should be the frontrunner in treating all the people under his organization with utmost respect.

Capable – And this should go without even saying. The leader has to be capable. In short, he should be able to handle the job. The leader should be able to guide and mentor and keep his team in order. He has to be competent.

But it shouldn’t end there, it’s just not about his capacity do to the job.  The leader must be capable of engaging the members of his also. He should have the ability to interact and be one of them.

Goal Oriented – With any team, there is always a goal to achieve. The leader and his team should be working towards the goal. He should be leading them with a purpose. He understands the goal that must be achieved. He knows the tasks that needs to be done in order to succeed and able to visualize how the team can do this.

Accepting that you are the leader but still being grounded – The person should accept the role and acknowledge the responsibilities that comes with it. He accepts and understands his role in the organization.  Often, the leader stands out and may be the more known member of the group.

With that, it takes humility for the leader to put forward that it is not a one-man team after all. He has to have humility to share credit. Also, humility to acknowledge that even though he’s the leader, it takes the whole village to achieve it.

Rational – A leader should know how to lead with balance. Meaning the balance between logic and emotions. It’s knowing when to strike a balance between your mind and heart. Any person feels that he needs to be understood, so does each team member.

A leader should have empathy but at the same time not driven purely by emotions. He must be emphatic but at the same time rational when laying out his decisions.

Leading by Example – A leader is a person who walks the talk. He should be able to do exactly the thing he says. And if you do what you say, expect people to follow as well. Lead by example. If the leader in the first place is hesitant to do what he says, expect the members to be on the edge as well.

However, when they see the leader confidently doing the walk – the people won’t be afraid to follow suit.

Accountability – As they say – for every action, there is a reaction. And that’s really true. Whatever the outcome, the leader should be able to take responsibility of it. Through highs and lows, the leader shouldn’t abandon the ship.

He is the captain after all. It’s easy to be into with when the ship is sailing well. However, when the ship capsizes, the captain should be able to take the responsibility as well. No fleeing, but being accountable to what happened.

To summarize, being a leader is not just about you. To be a leader means having characteristics that enables you to engage the people, drive your team to success and being with integrity above it all.




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