12 Great Leadership Qualities for Young Leaders
Very few leaders exhibit key qualities for maximum success. But what makes a great leader? To some extent, great leadership is innate. However, learning how to be a more effective leader is within everyone’s grasp – whether you lead multiple teams, an entire company or one staff member, or just yourself. You have buried inside you great leadership qualities, drive, purpose, etc. for success accomplishments.
The qualities of good leaders are invaluable no matter the area it’s been practiced. Leaders are those who set directions/goals (whether personal or organizational goals) and influence people to move and work for a common goal and follow their directions. Therefore, what qualities define good leaders?
It’s been said that leadership is making important but unpopular decisions. While I agree with that, I also believe that it underscores the importance of focus. As leaders we often have many competing issues, challenges, and tasks. That is life. Being an effective leader demands focus which allows you to provide a consistent vision of the your future and that of the people you’re leading. Focus puts everything in proper perspective.
A leader instills confidence and followership by having a clear vision, showing empathy and being a strong mentor. Confidence allows leaders sufficient influence and power, to accept bluntness for providing communication. Confidence is the primary basis on which leadership grow. And having confidence in yourself will allow you to make spontaneous decisions without having doubt and without being afraid to commit yourself.
Integrity is one of the top attributes of a great leader. It is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes. It connotes a deep commitment to do the right thing for the right reason, regardless of the circumstances. If you focus on becoming authentic in all your interactions, that will rub off on your business and your culture, and the rest takes care of itself.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, former governor of California, said: “People always say I’m a self-made man. But there is no such thing. Leaders aren’t self-made; they are driven. I arrived in America with no money or any belongings besides my gym bag, but I can’t say I came with nothing: Others gave me great inspiration and fantastic advice, and I was fueled by my beliefs and an internal drive and passion. That’s why I’m always willing to offer motivation—to friends or strangers on Reddit. I know the power of inspiration, and if someone can stand on my shoulders to achieve greatness, I’m more than willing to help them up.”
Passion is about loving what one does. True leadership success demands obsession in whatever you do. No matter how successful your business might become, aiming higher is what’s all about. Successful leaders lead by example not because of how they feel but because it is their way of life.
“Patience is courage meant to test your commitment to a particular cause. The path to great things is always tough, but great leaders understand when to abandon the cause and when to stay the cause. If your vision is bold enough, there will be hundreds of reasons why it ‘can’t be done’ and plenty of doubters. A lot of things have to come together—external markets, competition, financing, consumer demand and always a little luck—to pull off something big”; says Dan Brian, COO of WhipClip
People always say that “imitation is one of the greatest forms of flattery”, but not when it comes to leadership—and every great leader in my life, from Mike Tomlin to Olympic ski coach Scott Rawles, led from a place of authenticity., says Jeremy Bloom, cofounder and CEO of Integrate. Learn from others, read autobiographies of your favorite leaders, pick up skills along the way… but never lose your authentic voice, opinions and, ultimately, how you make decisions.
Leaders need to keep an open mind while being flexible, and adjust when necessary. When in the startup phase of a business, planning is highly overrated and goals are not static. Your commitment should be to invest, develop and maintain great relationships. Achieving these demands being open-minded.
Great leaders are very decisive. They know when to say yes and no to requests, opinions, suggestions and so on, without hurting anyone’s feelings. Decision making is a critical tool for effective leadership and great leaders has mastered its use.
“A great leader once told me, ‘persistence beats resistance.’ And after working at Facebook, Intel and Microsoft and starting my own company, I’ve learned two major lessons: All great things take time, and you must persist no matter what. That’s what it takes to be a leader: willingness to go beyond where others will stop.” —Noah Kagan, Chief Sumo, appsumo
Being insightful is same as being wise. It takes insight every day to be able to separate that which is really important from the ones that are less important. It’s like wisdom—it can be improved with time, if you’re paying attention, but it has to exist in your character. It’s inherent. When your insight is right, you look like a genius. And when your insight is wrong, you look like an idiot.
Accountability is mostly considered by leadership experts as being next to character. Larry Robbins wrote a genuinely humble letter to his investors about his bad judgment that caused their investments to falter. He then opened up a new fund without management and performance fees—unheard of in the hedge fund world. This is character. This is accountability. “It’s not only taking responsibility; it’s taking the next step to make it right”, writes Sandra Carreon-John.
I am the Founder and President of Young Leaders Arena. Formerly I was the Chief Editor and program co-ordinator at Walktall. Author of the upcoming Book; Success Recipe: Start up Tool-kit for exceptional business growth. I have written numerous articles on both leadership, business start up, entrepreneurship. I have served as thought leader in many societies and organisations, including the Forum on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. I obtained my post graduate from the prestigious University of Port Harcourt. I also have a Bachelors from the Delta State University, Abraka. Twitter & Instagram: @Charlessholokwu