What Characteristics Must a Leader Possess?

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Every organization, from corporations and governments to nonprofits and after-school programs, requires leadership to achieve goals. Leaders manage, instruct and direct workers to ensure that necessary tasks are completed as efficiently as possible. There is no specific type of personality that is required to be a successful leader, but there are certain characteristics and skills that people in leadership need to rely upon to achieve success.

Communication

  • The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is an essential leadership quality. If you can't explain what you want to others in a way that is easy to understand, it can result in miscommunication and lead to poor results. Leaders should command the attention of others when they speak; if people are not interested in listening when you speak, it is difficult to communicate effectively.

Knowledge

  • Leaders should be knowledgeable in the area where they direct others. For example, the coach of a sports team should be aware of the strategies and physical abilities necessary for a team to be successful. Leaders who are not knowledgeable do not command the respect of others, which can result in ineffective leadership. For instance, if you feel that your boss doesn't know anything about your job, you might be less likely to implement his suggestions into your work.

Conflict Resolution

  • Leaders should exhibit the ability to resolve disputes between workers and other problems that workers have on the job. Arguments can result in low morale and productivity, which can impact the success of an organization. It is important for leaders to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their workers so that they can allocate jobs as efficiently as possible. For example, if two workers want to take on the same project, a leader might allow them to share the project to resolve the dispute, but split it into parts that fit each worker's skill set.

Decisiveness

  • A leader should make decisive decisions despite any misgivings expressed by others. Not all of the decisions a leader makes will be popular with everyone; leaders are often forced to make tough choices that make some people happy and others unhappy. Leaders should not let the personal views of others sway decisions from what will be most beneficial to the organization.

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