Character is the Essence of Leadership

By Anam Zehra, GM, Client Services – Learning Minds

Leadership has been defined in many different ways and hence it is one of the most well decorated term in management sciences that has created a perception that this role might be confined to some specific individuals and it’s not for all. Leadership though in its core essence is all about taking the responsibility. Responsibility to articulate your goals, dream and ideas into real world success stories.

When we step into the subject of Leadership there are some inevitable questions you come across like, “isn’t leadership something that you either have or not?” or “are leaders made or born?” – these questions are certainly going nowhere.

In fact, Leadership potential revolves around certain characteristics and skill set that can be developed. Similarly, for a great leader the character is not something that you have or do not have – the key is the depth of each aspect of it that enables us to lead.

There is certainly no one formula to be a great leader but yes character is the essence and there are certain qualities that make a strong impact, Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the important qualities:

#1 Vision and Direction

Leaders are far sighted and can see into the future, they have a clear exciting idea of where they are headed to and they do all their strategic planning to get there. This one quality makes a leader standout and turns him from a transactional manager who operates on authority to get the job done into a transformational leader.

 #2 Matter of Trust

Leadership is all the science that management says you can do with the right human and financial resources, but at the end you have to take an extra step for your people and you have to give your craft a spark and it all comes from getting the people to trust you and follow you. Trust is that one quality that binds all the relations – personal and business together.

#3 Inspiring Others

One of the most important and yet challenging tasks as a leader is to inspire others and persuade them to follow. This can only be achieved by setting examples. Your followers observe you when the going gets rough, they analyze each and every aspect of how you handle the situations. As a leader, you should think positive and this positive approach should be visible through your actions.

 #4 Honesty and Integrity

Leaders should be completely honest about every situation and about everything they do. They succeed when they adhere to the values; and without ethics this will not be possible.

 #5 Humility

Always be humble. As a leader one should be willing to hear the criticism and be able to laugh at own self. Humility makes you more approachable, it establishes the right connection with your people and also opens new avenues of building relationships.

To summarize, the ultimate purpose as a leader should be to eventually become a person with clear vision a clear dream and develop a character that earns the trust of your people, so they follow you!

Shakespeare wrote, “To thine own self be true,” meaning that you are what you believe in. You must continually clarify what you stand for and what you will not stand for. Once you have decided that you are going to build your life around certain values, you refuse to compromise those values for anything.

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