Qualities of an Effective Leader

A leader cannot be effective unless he possesses certain qualities of head and heart. Irrespective of the nature of the manager-leader’s own responsibilities of the job and the style adopted by him, a number of qualities are generally found to be possessed by the effective leader. The more important of these qualities are listed below :


1) Mental and physical health : To be able to bear the pulls and pressures of leadership, it is essential for the leader to have sound health both mental and physical. Along with a balanced temperament and optimistic outlook, he must possess stamina and sound health.


2)    Empathy : A leader must have the capacity to appreciate others and look at things from his subordinates’ angle. This attitude of the leader motivates his subordinates.


3)    Self-confidence : Confidence about one’s leadership ability makes it possible for a leader to analyse and face different situations and adopt a style. Lack of self- confidence often prevents managers to adopt participative style and repose trust in his subordinates.


4)    Awareness of others’ opinion about himself : A leader having self-confidence should not ignore how others perceive him as a leader. He must be aware of his strength and weakness in relation to his subordinates.


5)    Objectivity : A leader who is effective does not get carried away by emotions. He is fair and objective in his dealings with subordinates.


6)    Knowledge and intelligence : A leader to be effective must have knowledge of group behaviour, human nature, and activities involving technical and professional competence. He must have intelligent perception of human psychology and ability to think clearly and argue cogently on points of dispute.


7)    Decisiveness : Decision-making is a necessary but difficult task for every leader. A leader often has to take initiative and exercise mature judgement while taking decisions. Besides, he has to have foresight, imagination and creative ideas for effective decision making. Open mindness is yet another essential quality for that purpose.


8) Ability to communicate : The skill of effective communication of goals and procedure of work is extremely important in leadership. To achieve desired results and coordination of efforts in a group, oral communication is of great significance.


9)    Sense of purpose and responsibility : A leader must have clarity of purpose and responsibility to be able to inspire his subordinates to achieve specific goals.


10)  Other qualities : Enthusiasm, courage, sense of direction, judgement, tact, courtesy and integrity are also regarded as necessary qualities for a leader to be effective.

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