What qualities should an effective leader possess?
“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” The pre-eminent spiritual leader of India, Mohandas K. Gandhi, tells us what leadership really is – being a people person. Leaders are not those who achieve success by underhand methods, but they are the ones that understand his followers before undertaking the difficult job of leadership. Certain qualities are necessary to help effective leaders understand their followers, such as impartiality, effective communication and teamwork. One characteristic that a truly effective leader should possess is impartiality. As a leader, acting in an impartial and equitable way basically means being fair and equal in the treatment for all in terms of rewards. Well, what is so important about being fair? Impartiality is the key to trust, and trust is the cement which holds an organisation or country together. Imagine a CEO of a company promoting only the pretty ones, not because they put in effort, but for their looks, leaving out those who may look more unique but worked hard. How would those who put in much effort but not getting promoted feel? Betrayed, discriminated and marginalised. Many would eventually quit and join a different company. On the other hand, being impartial can stir up more positive feelings among followers. Many would feel the peace and ease putting all their trust into their leader’s hands. However, being impartial is tougher than it seems on the surface. What we think of as acting in a fair manner may not be perceived by others as fair. This is why many cannot become an ‘effective leader’. The second quality all effective leaders should possess is effective communication. There is a fine line between ‘communication’ and ‘commanding’. Communication is a two-way thing, whereas commanding is a do-it-or-leave-it thing. Many individuals dislike getting commanded for one simple reason: they do not have a...
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