When we say that someone has leadership qualities, we mean that the person has what it takes to lead others. A leader is simply one who takes the lead. There are qualities that mark out a person for leadership and in this article, I shall be examining the leadership qualities that students need to excel in life.
People who are able to lead effectively must possess some of these qualities, characteristics or traits. These are what we use to identify people that would become effective leaders. Individuals are different and in the same way, their leadership styles will be different.
4 Types of LeadersThere are basically four different types of leaders. These include:
1. The Servant Leader
This type of leaders about the people a lot and try to remove anything that prevents them from achieving their potential in life. They desire to create a good work environment where other team members can function effectively. One of their major focuses is to identify and meet the needs of their followers. They also attract followers and greatly motivate and influence others.
2. The Inspirational Leader
This type of leader is able to influence their followers to focus on future possibilities. They are able to lift up the spirits of their followers and easily connect with people. By this, they are able to inspire them to keep their hope alive.
3. The Courageous Leader
are leaders with strong convictions who pursue their vision irrespective of strong opposition and risks. They understand and stand for their mission, vision and values whether right or wrong or even if their stand is unpopular.
4. The Thought Leader
These are the type of leaders who use the power of ideas to effect change.
Students that would become good leaders must develop these qualities:
1. They possess courageous
Students who would be leaders tomorrow must be courageous. Leadership requires courage as they would be required to takes risks to achieve what they believe in. It is not everyone that can function effectively as a leader because it is not for the faint in heart. Students must be willing to try out new things regardless of criticism from others. Courage helps leaders try things that have not been done before. They can build this quality by:
- Identifying their fears
- Unveiling the cause of their fear
- Reminding themselves to be courageous
- Developing a realistic plan to build courage
- Adjusting their behaviour to show their courage
- Frame what you fear in simple terms. 'Framing' is a behavioural technique which helps shape your thoughts and situations by making them seem normal.
- Never compare yourself with others as this could erode your self-confidence.
- Focus on the positive and not the negative.
- Believe in your ability to be courageous.
- Take the risk and accept failure if it happens.
- Turn every obstacle to an asset.
- Do not follow the crowd.
2. They take responsibility
Students who want to be excellent leaders should be able to take responsibility. They do not blame others for their failure but understand that there is always a price to pay for success and are willing to pay it.
3. They are flexible
Successful leaders are those who are flexible to accommodate the views of other members of their team. They must not always insist only on their own suggestions.
4. They must be passionate
Passion shows that a leader is committed and enthusiastic to the achievement of the goals of the organisation. It is necessary that students become passionate about whatever it is they love or desire to achieve. They can build and maintain passion by:
- Reminding themselves regularly that they love
what they do.
- Having someone who is successful in leadership to mentor them.
- Mentoring someone who is eager to learn and develop these same qualities.
- Challenging themselves with a new and exciting approach to doing their work.
- Taking a break off work for some holiday or relaxation.
- Delegating work to others who may do better than you.
- Thinking in terms of long term rather than short term.
- Finding a new reason to love the things you do.
- Identifying the problem that may have affected your passion and solving it.
5. They should have a good sense of humour
People are able to relax with people who make them laugh so you may need to develop this in order to create a comfortable environment for others.
6. They should be assertive, that is, they should be straightforward about what their needs and concerns are.
7. Those who desire to be leaders must be authentic. They should not try to be someone else but themselves. It is better to be an original as people would respect you better than if you were just imitating someone else. Believe in yourself and maintain your core values.
8. A leader is one who should be trusted in word, deed and motive so it is important that all these must align with the action you take.
9. Students who desire to develop leadership skills should also focus on emotional stability. An emotionally unstable individual will find it difficult and almost impossible to lead other people.
10. Humility is another important quality that should be cultivated by potential leaders. You should be willing to serve others and not be bossy to others. No individual is perfect and you are not expected to be.
11. It is good for leaders to exhibit self confidence even in the midst of challenging situations. This will boost the others in the team to follow them.
12. Students should develop the ability to think for the future and learn from the past. They must reflect on past events and make better plans to make the future better.
13. Students should also learn how to influence other team members to make their contributions towards their common goal.
14. They should be able to set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound goals. The ability to set goals is key to effective leadership.