Leadership can be defined as one's ability to carry ones subject along, to get others to willingly follow. Leaders can be found and nurtured.
A leader with vision has a clear, vivid picture of where to go, as well as a firm grasp on what success looks like and how to achieve it. A leader must be able to communicate his or her vision in terms that cause followers to buy into it. He or she must communicate clearly and passionately, as passion is contagious.
A good leader must have the discipline to work toward his or her vision single-mindedly, as well as to direct his or her actions and those of the team toward the goal. Action is the mark of a leader. A leader does not suffer “analysis paralysis” but is always doing something in pursuit of the vision, inspiring others to do the same.
Integrity is the integration of outward actions and inner values. A person of integrity is the same on the outside and on the inside. Such an individual can be trusted. A leader ought to have honest dealings, predictable reactions, well-controlled emotions, and an absence of tantrums and harsh outbursts are all signs of integrity. A leader who is centered in integrity will be more approachable by followers. A good leader has an exemplary character. It is of utmost importance that a leader is trustworthy to lead others. A leader needs to be trusted and be known to live their life with honestly and integrity. A good leader "walks the talk" and in doing so earns the right to have responsibility for others. True authority is born from respect for the good character and trustworthiness of the person who leads.
Dedication means spending whatever time or energy is necessary to accomplish the task at hand. A leader inspires dedication by example, doing whatever it takes to complete the next step toward the vision. A leader sets an excellent example.
Magnanimity means giving credit where it is due. A magnanimous leader ensures that credit for successes is spread as widely as possible throughout. Conversely, a good leader takes personal responsibility for failures.
Leaders with humility recognize that they are no better or worse than other members of the team. A humble leader is not self-effacing but rather tries to elevate everyone.
Openness means being able to listen to new ideas, even if they do not conform to the usual way of thinking. Good leaders are able to suspend judgment while listening to others’ ideas, as well as accept new ways of doing things that someone else thought of. Openness builds mutual respect and trust between leaders and followers
Creativity is the ability to think differently, to get outside of the box that constrains solutions. Creativity gives leaders the ability to see things that others have not seen and thus lead followers in new directions. The most important question that a leader can ask is, “What if ..?” Possibly the worst thing a leader can say is, “I know this is a dumb question ..”
Fairness means dealing with others consistently and justly. A leader must check all the facts and hear everyone out before passing judgment. He or she must avoid leaping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence. When people feel they that are being treated fairly, they reward a leader with loyalty and dedication.
Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. Rather, it is the ability to clearly state what one expects so that there will be no misunderstandings. A leader must be assertive to get the desired results. Along with assertiveness comes the responsibility to clearly understand what followers expect from their leader.
A sense of humor is vital to relieve tension and boredom, as well as to defuse hostility. Effective leaders know how to use humor to energize followers. Humor is a form of power that provides some control over the work environment. And simply put, humor fosters good camaraderie.
A good leader is enthusiastic about their work or cause and also their role as leader. People will respond more openly to a person of passion and dedication. Leaders need to be a source of inspiration, and motivation.
A good leader must be confident. In order to lead and set direction a leader needs to appear confident as a person and in leadership role
A leader also needs to function in an orderly and purposeful manner in situation of uncertainty. People look to the leader during times of uncertainty and unfamiliarity and find reassurance and security when the leader portrays confidence and positive demeanor.
Good leaders are tolerant of ambiguity and remain calm, composed and steadfast to the main purpose. Storms, emotions, crises come and go and a good leader takes these as part of the journey and keeps a cool head.
A good leader keeps the main goal in focus and thinks analytically. He or she views a situation as a whole from all angles and is able to break down a situation or point into pars for closer inspection.
A good leader is committed to excellence. Second best does not lead to success. The good leader not only maintains high standards, but also is proactive in raising the bar in order to achieve excellence in all areas.
Each of these characteristics can be developed and strengthened in cause of a leadership role.