The topic of leadership is relevant today for many areas of life: business, politics, sports. If we compare the various definitions, then leadership is a way of influence and management. For many, a leader is a leader looking forward, leading people and moving them toward a goal.
What is the difference between an ordinary person and an effective leader? A lot of scientists have been dealing with this issue for quite some time. The theory of great people is one of the most famous and simple answers to this question. Its supporters – historians, political scientists, psychologists and sociologists – believe that a person who has a certain set of personality traits will be a good leader, regardless of the nature of the situation in which he is. The absolute embodiment of this theory is the concept of a charismatic leader, whom others bow to.
So what qualities should a modern leader have? Robert Dilts, in his book Alpha Leadership, highlights the following key leadership qualities.
Vision. A true leader knows how to look forward. He knows how to predict the future, see prospects and, based on his vision, direct his team forward towards the goal.
Motivation. A leader knows how to stimulate himself and his team. In any, even the most hopeless situation, the leader believes that a way out exists. The leader must be able to inspire and encourage others to act.
Recognition of weak signals (high sensitivity). The modern world is a world of change. An effective leader is attentive to changes taking place in the outside world, in his team, in himself. The ability to receive feedback and respond quickly to changes means being half a step ahead of everyone.
Flexibility in behavior. The leader is able to respond quickly, in addition, he has various behavioral strategies. He has his own approach to each person and tries to interact with him from a win-win position, where both parties receive mutual benefits.
In addition, it is important for the leader to possess such qualities as determination, systematic thinking, courage, ambitiousness, activity, curiosity, organization.
In general, only on the basis of personality traits is it difficult to predict how good a person will be. Therefore, over time, researchers have become inclined to believe that it is not enough to consider only personal characteristics. It is necessary to take into account the situation in which these features are manifested. In this regard, the situational theory of leadership by Fred Fiedler became popular. This theory assumes that the effectiveness of a leader depends both on how much the leader is task-oriented or on relationships, and on the extent to which the leader controls the group and exercises its influence on it.
They are not born a leader, they become a leader. Researchers believe that every person has leadership potential. The process of revealing one’s leadership potential begins with the ability to manage oneself, one’s condition and motivation. This is inner leadership. It involves taking responsibility and the ability to keep the situation under control. At the next stage, you can begin to take the initiative into your own hands in individual situations. Gradually, moving from simple to complex, you can develop leadership skills and increase your effectiveness.
“An effective leader is one who knows his individual characteristics (whatever they may be) that can be useful to him as a leader, and uses them wisely,” write R. Goffy and G. Jones, modern researchers on the topic of leadership. You can learn more about your own individual characteristics and how to find them to use at the now popular leadership trainings.
Leadership issues for many organizations today are key. A leader is not always a leader, but always one whose opinion is valuable to the team and who has the last word. Modern approaches to this problem focus on the leader’s ability to create a new vision of the situation and inspire employees to achieve high results.