25 Leadership Qualities To Become A True Leader In Life
“The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears, and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.”
– George Orwell
Top Leadership Qualities to Become A True Leader: Leadership is an art and not just a personality trait. People all over the world want to be effective leaders and are willing to invest in training and classes to develop leadership skills. Good leadership is the essence of management and it is required whether you are running a team of two members or an organization with thousands of employees.
It is developed only when an individual develops his overall personality, inculcates virtues, and shows character. The factors that leadership can influence positively in a workplace are an amicable environment, cooperation from colleagues, dedication towards work, continuity of successful endeavors, emotional attachment of employees to the workplace, and the reputation of the company.
A person is a good leader when he is respected by his colleagues, superiors, and subordinates, has an admirable personality, and his subordinates are very dedicated. We strongly believe that to become a great leader, the following virtues are essential.
1. True Leaders Have A Clear Vision of The Future
One of the essential requirements to become an impressive and successful leader is – To be A Visionary. A true leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done. Such a person prepares a roadmap of future plans through his exceptional imaginative power and wisdom. Visionary leaders have a clear plan for every task.
In spite of this they also make a backup plan ready always, that’s why they find their desired goal in lesser time. True leaders never do any task only on the basis of assumption. In business, a vision is a realistic, convincing, and attractive depiction of where you want to be in the future. Vision provides direction, sets priorities, and provides a marker so that you can tell that you’ve achieved what you wanted to achieve.
Jonathan Swift says – “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Therefore for a successful leader, it is very important to prepare a plan for work and execute that plan accordingly. To create a vision, leaders focus on an organization’s strengths by using specific tools to analyze their current situation.
They think about how their industry is likely to evolve, and how their competitors are likely to behave. They look at how they can innovate successfully, and shape their businesses and their strategies to succeed in future marketplaces. In other words, a true leader is such an open-minded visionary, who is free from all delusions and possess the skill of clear foresight.
2. Great Leaders Possess A Positive Attitude
Do you know what is the most important requirement to make our life happy and successful – It’s attitude. And the thing which is required to make a person a successful leader is nothing, but a positive attitude. A true leader is equipped with a never say die attitude and unflinching enthusiasm. Thomas Jefferson has pointed out the significance of attitude in these beautiful words –
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal and nothing on this earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
Attitude is a small thing, but it makes a big difference. Great leaders maintain a positive attitude even amidst adverse situations. As they know, a positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes which sparks extraordinary results in the future.
3. True Leaders Apply What They Learn
A true leader learns from other man’s mistakes and is always involved in goal achieving tasks. Good leaders know this great quote – “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” There is a huge population of people who read a lot of books and spend a lot of time buying courses, but never apply the knowledge they learn?
You may even notice these tendencies in your life. It’s hard to take action and apply what you learn, because we are all afraid of failure, and taking action can be paralyzing from time to time. However, success in life or business doesn’t happen until you use the knowledge that you have inside of you.
Most of us have exactly what we need to get to our goals, but we make excuses not to even get started. True leaders know this human tendency very well, so they take every action to get rid of this habit as soon as possible.
4. Leaders Manage Their Time Effectively
A true leader knows the value of time, respects its sanctity and is strict in the timely execution of assigned tasks. Leaders manage their time effectively as they are experts in time management. They know this is the skill that will influence both their happiness and their overall success in life. The ability to manage time effectively reaps the maximum benefits in life.
Leaders are effective time managers who have a handle on their obligations in life and know just how to juggle things in order to get ahead. They focus on their long-term goals and prioritize the activities that will help move them forward instead of leaving them behind.
5. Great Leaders Plan Efficiently
A true leader is a great open-minded visionary who has the foresight to deal with any situation. A leader cannot just work by making guesses all the time. It is very important for a successful leader to work out a clear plan of action and then stick to that plan. Also, everyone should be made aware of the complete plan in advance to preserve transparency. When the goals of a team are broken down into clearly manageable tasks and tracked to completion then success comes naturally to that team or organization.
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6. Truly Great Leaders Have Undying Courage In Them
Being exceptionally courageous is an important attribute of a successful leader. To be courageous means – To win the fear, to face the odds with a brave heart. We should remember that without courage we can’t practice any other virtue consistently. We can’t become kind, honest, generous, reliable, or anything else. A leader should bravely face all the challenges and perform his duties without fear or favor.
It should be noted that a handful of determined people, who have unflinching faith in their aim, can change the course of history. In other words, a good leader should remain determined, unbiased, and tolerant even amidst terrible obstacles. Those who don’t have self-confidence and courage are not able to manage the situations very well; even small challenges shake up their leadership skills.
A leader should not get too worked up about his weaknesses and qualities. He should have the courage to face the reality. The fear that coworkers will take the leader’s position or replace him in any capacity makes the leader weak and inefficient. Therefore, it is very important to be courageous in all situations.
7. True Leaders are Self-confident and Highly Optimistic
A true leader is a highly self-confident person, who has a firm belief in his capabilities, but who is not an egotist. A successful leader should be highly confident because even a partial doubt about one’s capabilities thrust a person towards failure. Samuel Johnson considers Self-confidence as the first secret of success. For people who are not self-confident and fearless enough, their leadership has to face challenges constantly.
Subordinates also slowly lose respect for such an individual. A leader packed with self-confidence also provokes the self-confidence in his team and inspire them to achieve their goal. In essence, only a self-confident leader could be a highly optimistic person.
A true leader is an optimist who sees opportunities in every risk and failure. When failure is constantly beating the gate in spite of repeated efforts, it is only a self-confident and optimistic person who can remain patient and can continue their efforts in the direction of achieving targets.
8. Leaders Think of Potential Obstacles & Real Solutions
Winston Churchill said, “Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.” Leaders fail more often than other people simply because they keep trying no matter what obstacles they come across. A true leader searches hard for desirable circumstances and if he does not find them then makes them favorable. Obstacles to achieving goals can include fear of failure, fear of success, and lack of self-confidence.
An obstacle can be less threatening if there are potential solutions. So leaders think about some real solutions to help overcome roadblocks in the path of their success. Often the best solution is to simply re-connect with the driving force or compelling vision for achieving the goal.
9. Leaders are Straightforward and Credible
A true leader is an honest, upright, simple, and fearless person. Simplicity in behavior and straightforwardness of a person not only makes a person popular among the masses, but they make him credible also. A straightforward person discusses the flaws only in front of a person and helps them to solve their issues. A successful leader must be straightforward and trustworthy so that his team members can openly discuss the problems and weaknesses.
A leader should be Compassionate also. People like to support a leader who is optimistic and compassionate about a team member’s needs. A leader, who cares about his subordinates, does not try to affect them negatively, and helps subordinates as much as possible, wins the trust of his team.
10. Great Leaders Break The Barriers
True leaders have firm faith and belief in God. They have a nature to break those barriers which block the wheel of advancement. Most people have negative beliefs that stop them from being as successful in life as they would like. Leaders know that the only thing holding them back is their fear. They know this fact – once you become comfortable with overcoming your fears, you will start seeing dramatic success in your life.
One of the most common characteristics of successful leaders is that they are willing to try new things and face their fears. They are not fearless, they are merely willing to do what it takes. True leaders believe in it: Using no way as way, using no limitation as limitation.
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11. True Leaders Inspire and Motivate Their People
A true leader has a passion to inspire and the power to lead the people. He focuses on his people’s strengths and not on their weaknesses. A compelling vision provides the foundation for leadership. But it’s leaders’ ability to motivate and inspire people that helps them deliver that vision. For example, when you start a new project, you will probably have lots of enthusiasm for it, so it’s often easy to win support for it at the beginning.
However, it can be difficult to find ways to keep your vision inspiring after the initial enthusiasm fades, especially if the team or organization needs to make significant changes in the way that it does things. Leaders recognize this, and they work hard throughout the project to connect their vision with people’s individual needs, goals, and aspirations.
Great leaders create a vision of the future that is vivid and compelling, and that motivates employees to want to achieve it. Everyone wants to work for a company that makes a difference in the world. As a leader, you are best able to help the members of your team connect what they do to the impact it has on customers and communities.
12. Leaders Have Firm Belief In Their Ideals & Principles
A true leader must have deep faith in his ideals and principles and he should never compromise for them. And, It should be to this extent that if he finds a flaw or weakness in himself, he should not only show the courage to accept the reality but should try to get rid of them also. Otherwise, the fear of being substituted by colleagues could make him incompetent and powerless.
People like to follow the orders of only that person, whose words match the deeds. If you are disinterested in your own work, don’t expect that other people will accept your leadership. It is your conduct that puts the right impression on people, not just your words. So, try to become a simple, straightforward, resolute, and honest person who possesses a realistic approach.
13. Leaders are Enthusiastic and Diligent
A true leader infuses enthusiasm, courage, hope, and confidence in his people. All the successful leaders in this world, who made impossible work possible, had a common virtue in them. And it is their enthusiastic and diligent nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson says – “Enthusiasm is the first requirement of all great works. It is the source of all efforts and without it, nothing great was ever achieved.” The true secret of success is enthusiasm.
It should be remembered that extraordinary works are finished only by the passion and hard labor, not just through the yearning alone. To start work right away is the secret of going forward. Norman Cousin says – “The greatest loss in life is not the death, but the greatest loss is the thing which dies inside of ourselves – the death of passion.” That’s why a true leader must be very hard-working and passionate about his work.
14. Leaders Accepts The Responsibility
This is one of the most important qualities of a true leader. A successful leader inculcates the value of cooperation in his work, believes in the idea of one-for-all and all-for-one. A leader should see his success in the collective success of his team. A leader should not only take responsibility for his own work but should also be brave enough in taking the responsibility for the failures and mistakes of his subordinates.
Unless you do that, you could never win the trust of your team or colleagues. And to do this you must possess the courage to accept the responsibility and have a feeling of accountability. To be responsible means you should develop a propensity for collaboration in yourself.
Good leaders have a nature to cooperate with their team. They are resourceful in different situations. A true leader raises the aspirations of his followers and enthuses people with a desire to reach the stars.
15. True Leaders Keep Ego At A Distance
A true leader is always respected, loved, and trusted by his people because he keeps ego at bay. Remember, You don’t engage your staff by staying aloof from your people, you do it by getting amongst them. Powerful leadership is not about ego. It is about humility and a willingness to learn.
Inspire in others the willingness to accept personal responsibility for the outcomes of their work. To instill this you must first demonstrate these behaviors publicly, powerfully, and consistently yourself. Elevating another person to live at a higher level of existence is the gift your personal power inspires.
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16. Great Leaders are Humble and Modest In Behavior
A true leader is a humble, generous, and amiable person, who has a loving and compassionate heart towards all beings. It is said that a man makes friends or enemies by what he speaks. Amiability in speech and modesty in behavior get the leader acceptance in a group, which plays a very important role in the success of a leader.
Those who desire the support of people or who want to lead the people, make modesty and civilized behavior an integral part of their life. The first true sign of a great person is his humility. If you are a friendly and easy-going person, you will be successful to enthuse your colleagues with hope, confidence, and passion.
Everyone in this world craves appreciation and honor. If you talk to a person politely and if your behavior is also modest in nature, you can easily get his acceptance over the issues, which he was never ready to confess under normal conditions. Remember, everything which exists in a man can be developed with appreciation and motivation.
17. Leaders are Patient & Have A Forbearing Nature
A true leader is a determined, dedicated, and patient person. Life doesn’t always follow the aspirations of human beings. Unwanted circumstances and situations come again and again in life. When it becomes a highly complicated task to exercise control over them, a lot of people find themselves helpless. Their forbearance comes to an end. In those adverse situations, only a true leader can face the brutes and can achieve his goal by setting them aside.
John Quincy Adams says – “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success and there is no obstacle in this world that can endure before them. Patience and forbearance may be bitter, but their fruits are always sweet.
18. True Leaders are Self-controlled and Disciplined
A true leader has excellent self-control over his mind, body, and senses. All great leaders love discipline and exhibit self-control. A leader should lead a very disciplined life and try to complete all the tasks on time. This will inspire the subordinates to be disciplined and complete their tasks in a timely fashion. A successful leader is not partial in his behavior and is objective in his thinking. He does not allow personal feelings to mix with business relations.
A leader should be able to exercise control over his speech and actions. A person who cannot control his speech and actions in accordance with his responsibilities cannot guide his subordinate correctly. A leader’s unrestrained behavior can make subordinates disrespect and disobey his guidelines whereas a leader’s controlled behavior will influence others to perform well and excel in the discharge of their duties.
19. Leaders Have The Ability To Take Right Decisions
A true leader thinks like a man of wisdom and acts as a man of action. He must possess the ability to take instant and better decisions. Because the objectivity and wisdom of a person who changes his decision frequently are questionable. In spite of it, if negative results occur due to a bad decision, it not only affects the mental disposition of the team badly, but they may have doubts about your leadership capability.
That’s why a good and successful leader should take a decision after completely weighing all the pros and cons and taking into account the long term effects of the decision. When a leader has given a good amount of thought to a decision, only then he can enforce it with conviction. If you are unable to make the right decisions at right time, you can’t be either a leader or a boss.
20. Leaders Don’t Try To Control Everything
Leaders don’t try to control everything that goes around them. Some people try too hard to change everything. But instead of change, it brings stress in their life. Leaders understand the things they can’t change and the things they need to leave alone. They adjust their behavior accordingly. They stay away from the things they are not able to control. They just only focus on the things they can change. This will help to reduce their stress, and the reduction of stress will lead to relaxation.
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21. Leaders Have A Feeling of Dedication Towards The Institution
A True leader believes in hard work. People who believe that work is worship can not only perform extraordinary tasks but can also inspire their coworkers and subordinates in reaching their true potential. A leader should lead by example to inspire coworkers towards the institution or a common goal. An official who is not dedicated himself cannot expect subordinates and coworkers to do the same.
A good leader is fully dedicated to his Institution. To have dedication means – Having full knowledge of the institution’s vocations. A successful leader must have a little bit of knowledge of every work of the organization. Otherwise, in absence of proper knowledge, he can’t secure the profits of the institution.
A manager who does not know how his department or company functions, is often fooled by his coworkers and subordinates. They take advantage of the manager’s lack of knowledge. So, it is imperative that the leader knows the work that he expects his subordinates to complete.
Ultimately, leaders are recruited, trained, and chosen to solve organizational problems and to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace. This requires not only excellent analytical abilities but also above-average people skills.
22. Leaders Have A Liberal and Sympathetic Thinking
Liberality is a divine virtue in any human being whereas harshness is a great vile. Generosity propels the personality of a man to such heights, on the basis of which he can easily get the cooperation of people. To be liberal does not means cowardice, but it is the expansion of our own self and to honor the dignity of others.
To become an impressive leader it is very important to inculcate generosity in personality. Sympathy also is a significant virtue of personality. To inspire the people, when they commit mistakes or when odd situations appear, is the sign of a true leader. For this, you should possess compassion and kindheartedness.
To be sympathetic with others means – To prepare yourself for the service of others without any self-interest. A true leader is humorous and joyous at times as he knows his mood affects everyone in his companionship.
23. Leaders Choose Possibilities, Not The Problems
True leaders solve problems and analyze issues. With personal power leaders possess the deep belief there are available solutions for problems. They believe that when you approach challenges from a solutions-focused perspective it engages the creative process of examining and architecting alternate routes in lieu of staying stuck in false beliefs of why things cannot be done.
If they could not find a solution, they open their thoughts to others, seek their ideas and suggestions. They know solution-focused minds reward and inspire each other. When solutions are the focus you learn to fail and adapt, moving away from the fixing and failing approach.
24. Leaders Have Amicable Relations With People
A true leader has no self-interest and gives himself wholeheartedly for the welfare of his people. A good leader strengthens his relations with his colleagues by adding a personal touch to the relations with his peers/subordinates. He can do so by personally attending social functions like marriage, birthdays, etc, and offering heartfelt condolence in the moments of the grief of peers/subordinates of the leader. This creates mutual trust and respect for the leader.
Good leadership is an art that can be used to solve even the most complicated situations with ease. A large unorganized crowd without any direction cannot accomplish anything, whereas a small battalion of the army under able leadership can work wonders. If one follows the points mentioned above, he can become a good and effective leader and inspire others to do so as well.
25. Leaders Have Meaningful Contacts
Successful leaders always develop meaningful professional and non-professional contacts. The resourcefulness of a leader in a time of need directly depends on cultivating good contacts. This helps in gaining the trust of others and solving unseen problems at the workplace.
Everyone wants to be a successful leader, but only a few succeed in their life. It is because some people just don’t want to change, whereas some people are very flexible to change. The people who are humble enough to keep on learning by giving up their ego are the ones who become great leaders in their life. Once again, I’m reminding you that leadership is not only about controlling the people.
The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. Once you follow all the leadership qualities mentioned in this article, you will realize that you’ve changed a lot and you are slowly going forward towards becoming a great future leader. Your whole life will start to change. Remember that you should not only follow these virtues for a certain period.
No, this will not work out at all. You should permanently follow these qualities. It will be tough at the beginning to follow these steps because it is not an easy task to give up on things you’re used to. It is hard, but it is not impossible. Just don’t quit early. Keep putting in the effort, and at the right time, you will reap the fruits of your hard works. Have a wonderful and successful life!
“A true leader is, in essence, a True Winner who on one hand is born to lead the people and on other hand is destined to serve mankind.”
– Pawan Pratap Singh