The importance of a leader in an organization cannot be understated, yet there is no gain saying that each leader possesses a set of important qualities that is critical to the success of an organization. It is important to take note of some of the most important qualities that define a leader, and distinguishes him from any ordinary person.
The first and foremost important feature of a leader is effective communication skills. As far as the quality of communication skills is concerned, it should be remembered that a leader is required to possess interpersonal as well as intrapersonal communication skills. The leader needs to state his views, explain the importance of his ideas, and yet listen to the opinions of his subordinates, in order to take a successful decision (Bhatia et al., 2013). Having a directive, assertive style, and a polite gesture are two important qualities for a leader. It should be remembered that a leader is the one who formulates the effective strategy, the implementation of which determines the success of an organization. However, what is the meaning of a strategy if its benefits and immediate importance to an organization cannot be explained to the employees? Hence, effective communication skills are important qualities for a leader to possess, as these skills help him deliver his message and ideas (Riggio& Tan, 2013). Again, in order to motivate the employees to perform a task, or to explain to him where the problem lies, he must be a powerful communicator. Besides, interacting with the colleagues and subordinates, a leader must engage in intrapersonal communication as well, whereby through introspection and self-reflection, he will be able to take relevant decisions (Arnold &Bloggs, 2015).
The importance of motivation cannot be overemphasized as far as the success of an organization is concerned. It should be remembered that it is the duty of a leader to be able to continually encourage and motivate his subordinates, so that even the less capable ones can also gain the inner strength necessary to combat the challenges of the professional world. Even when a team is losing, if the leader is capable of keeping his composure, he can bring an enormous amount of energy and positive vibes among the team members, and boost the morale of his followers, thereby leading to the success of a project (Peng, 2014).
It is important to understand that each leader plays the role of a role model before his subordinates, and since he will be setting an example to be followed by others, he must be a man of values and integrity. A fraudulent leader, who intends to climb the staircase of success by cheating, will never be able to command the respect of the subordinates. A leader is not someone who believes in ethical lapses, or shortcuts. He should be an exemplary figure, highlighting the importance of hard work, strong willpower and a great focus, through his acts. A leader must always be the one who is rectifying the mistakes of others, and hence he must be demonstrating the ideals of honesty and integrity through his action. When a leader behaves honestly, and his single act reflects transparency, his subordinates will also be motivated, and derive great pride from being part of a team that relies on ethical principles. In addition, the integrity of the leader helps the subordinates achieve a sense of clarity about their role and mission in the organization (Hinkin&Schriesheim, 2015).
While imagining a leader, none expects a man who will be dilly-dallying while taking a decision. Determination and clarity of thought are the two important words that define a leader. Hence, decision-making capacity is an important quality that characterizes a leader. It should be remembered that a leader is the one who will guide and lead the followers, and hence he must be able to decide the right thing at the right time. A leader should not be the one who easily loses confidence, when encountered with complex challenges. He must be the self-assertive, witty and confident thinker, who is capable of thinking discreetly, and taking up the quick decision at the right moment. Being analytical is an important aspect of the decision-making aspect of the leader. He must not be confounded by a complex situation, but should be capable of breaking down a difficult situation step by step, get an overview of the situation, and think critically, before formulating and implementing an idea. There is a variety of decisions that a leader is required to take in an organization, yet he must keep his cool, retain his composure, and conduct sufficient research, before taking a final decision (Pettigrew, 2014).
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Bhatia, S., Carmeli, A., Schaubroeck, J., & Paz, E. (2013, January).Role of Team Leader Coaching in Buffering Contentious Communication from Influencing Team Outcomes.In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2013, No. 1, p. 14793).Academy of Management.
Hinkin, T. R., &Schriesheim, C. A. (2015). Leader reinforcement, behavioral integrity, and subordinate outcomes: A social exchange approach. The Leadership Quarterly, 26(6), 991-1004.
Peng, T. (2014). Motivation to lead: linking leader regulatory focus, leadership behaviors, and motivational and cultural moderators. Academy of Management Journal, 50, 715-729.
Pettigrew, A. M. (2014). The politics of organizational decision-making.Routledge.
Riggio, R. E., & Tan, S. J. (2013). Leader interpersonal and influence skills: The soft skills of leadership. Routledge.