Leadership is the quality by which a person imaginatively directs, guides and influences the work of others in choosing and attaining specified goals. Leadership can best be called the personality of the very highest ability-whether in ruling, thinking, imagining, innovation, warring, or religious influencing. Leadership is a quality which cannot be acquired by any person from the other but it can be acquired by self-determination of a person. Leadership depends on the structure of the personality which includes experience, skill, responsibility, intelligence, power of organizing people and social interaction.
Leader is person who influences the thoughts and behaviors of others; a leader is one who establishes the direction for others to willingly follow. One person can serve as a leader or several persons might share leadership. A person may be appointed as leader or may be elected by people within his circle. Leaders play vital role in standardizing performance. Leaders set vision, strategies, goals, and values in order to guide for desired action and behavior. Leaders can influence other to perform beyond the expectations.
The Major Attributes of Leadership
The following are the major attributes of leadership:
1. Infinite Courage
In fact, no follower will like to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence, courage and wisdom. No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader for very long.
2. Self Control
The person who controls himself, rules others. The person who can’t control himself can never control others. In fact, self-control sets a mighty example for one’s followers, which the more intelligent will emulate.
3. Mental Strength
A leader may not be physically strong but he needs to be mentally strong and firm in decisions. A person who can satisfy the basic psychological needs of his followers can also be an effective leader.
4. Sense of Justice
Without a sense off fairness and justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of his followers.
5. Decision Making
A person, who wavers in his decision, shows that he is not sure of himself, cannot lead others successfully.
The successful leader must plan his work and work his plan. A leader who moves by guesswork, without practical, definite plans, is comparable to a ship without a wheel. Sooner of later he will land on the rocks.
7. Doing More
One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of the leader, to do more than he requires of his followers.
8. Pleasing Personality
Leadership calls for respect. A person without a good and pleasing personality will not be respected by his followers for very long.
The word sympathy can be best defined as sharing the feelings of others (especially feelings of sorrow or anguish). The successful leader must be in sympathy with his followers. Moreover, he must understand them and their problems.
The person who wants to be a leader must develop the quality of taking responsibility. With responsibility comes power. A leader is assumed to be responsible for the mistakes and the shortcomings of his followers. If he tries to shift the responsibility, he will not remain the leader.
Without good co-operation and coordination no organized plan could be executed. Thus a successful leader must understand and apply the principles of cooperative efforts and be able to induce his followers to do the same. Leadership calls for power, and power calls for cooperation.
12. Intelligence and Alertness
The most important quality which a leader should possess is intelligence and alertness. A leader has to use his/her brain every time and also has to remain alert with eyes and ears open otherwise he/she could easily be carried by any fraud or enemy.
13. Optimistic Approach
A leader should also be an optimist having a positive attitude. He should not think negatively or plan something showing negative attitude. It is necessary that leader should be innovative, action-oriented and optimist.
A good leader must be faithful to his group members and activities. This in turn, will result in an atmosphere of assurance among the followers. Having faith in self abilities and the world around him/her the leader gains inspiration and also inspires others in the process.