Examples of a good leader? (+8 characteristics)
In this blogpost, we will be discussing the different examples of good leaders. We shall also be explaining the various characteristics an effective leader must have and why these traits are so important. Since great leaders are essential for any organization and industry, it is important to be familiar with these traits and develop them as part of our skillset.
What are examples of a good leader?
Some examples of a good leader are discussed below:
Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. is an example of great leadership, not because he was able to sway the masses but because he was a servant first. Though he coached and mentored other people, transforming their lives, he also could be quite authoritarian. He also used his charisma to influence the crowds to bring about social justice in the country.
James Parker, the CEO of Southwest Airlines in 2001, showed great leadership during the September 11 attacks. At the time when airlines were shut down by the government for several days, Parker encouraged his employees to entertain stranded passengers. He also refused to let go of any employee, keeping his entire workforce ensuring they were all taken care of.
Winston Churchill is a leader that most people can quickly remember and recognize. He used elements of collaboration and cooperation in order to work with other world leaders. Churchill was known to greatly inspire and motivate others to achieve more. He also maintained a great public identity of brotherhood, regularly visiting bombed towns and helping their residents.
Arianna Huffington is the sole reason for the success of the Huffington Post. She faced a transformation in her leadership style when she experienced a massive burnout due to long hours spent in the office. From then on, she used a Servant Leadership style, practicing more generosity and integrity among the staff.
Martha Stewart, the founder of Martha Stewart Living, has gone from being a simple entrepreneur to creating a world-wide brand. The leadership style that Martha Stewart uses is an Autocratic Leadership style, demanding perfection and meticulousness in each and every task. Though Autocratic Leadership does have its pitfalls, the brand seems to be doing pretty well.
The former CEO of Microsoft used an authoritarian leadership style. He took the initiative to encourage creativity and innovation from all his staff. He also was highly participative in company group discussions, often asking questions and clarifying doubts. In order to motivate employees to be creative, he used a blend of various leadership and management styles.
Various characteristics of an effective leader
When a group is led by an effective leader, it can achieve its goals at a faster and more efficient rate. Great leaders are defined by a set of characteristics usually called leadership traits. Some of these traits or characteristics of effective leaders are described as follows:
They lead by example
Effective leaders demonstrate leadership be being an example for others. When leaders follow rules and align their tasks to the organization’s vision, the other team members are inspired to follow. This not only means while performing tasks, but also in following orders from the higher chain of command.
They show high integrity
Showing integrity is another sign of great leadership. Showing integrity means being honest, transparent and highly accountable for your personal assignments and tasks. This also means accepting your mistakes and making up for them in the team. When leaders show high levels of integrity, they instantly gain the respect and admiration of those around them.
They inspire others
A good leader discovers hidden talents and strengths in others. They inspire and motivate others to do better and achieve more. In this way, they encourage other team members to live up to their fullest potential. When leaders encourage and support others, they get their team members to get out of their comfort zones and take up additional responsibilities.
They have great communication skills
Almost all great leaders in history are amazing orators. They use their communication skills to instruct and guide others. They also use it to influence the mindsets of the audience. Effective leaders demonstrate superiority in all mediums of communication, be it verbal, non-verbal or written. They particularly use non-verbal communication to drive their thoughts forward.
They can make quick decisions
Leaders may need to make quick decisions often. They also may be the final voice in the decision making process, requiring them to possess a quick-thinking process. Regardless of their leadership style, they would need to view the problem from multiple perspectives and angles and come up with the best possible solution.
They are reliable
Leaders need to show high reliability for the team members to have belief on them. They need to demonstrate their presence strongly and also ask the team members if they need help often. If the employees do not find their leader reliable, they will stop approaching them and thus the collaboration in the organization will drastically reduce.
They listen to what others have to say
While great leaders demonstrate effective communication skills to instruct and inspire others, they are also quick to listen to what other people have to say. They not only listen for the sake of listening but listen with the intent to understand. This skill is called active listening and it requires other abilities such as patience and empathy.
They keep their promises
Team members expect leaders to keep up their words and do what they promised they would do. However, many leaders today go back on their words and thus lose the respect and trust of their team members. Great leaders are not quick to make promises and when they do so, they carefully calculate and ensure they fulfill them.
Importance of leadership characteristics
Leadership traits or characteristics need to be imbibed by not only leaders but also every other individual in an organization or group. This leads to great benefits such as:
- Teams become stronger and the team members are closely bonded with each other
- The teams are highly goal-oriented and thus reach milestones on time
- The work process is smoother and a lot more efficient
- The communication strategy between the team members is also quite effective
- The team members are ready to take more decisive risks
- Great leaders create other great leaders along the way
- The workers are also highly engaged and show more participation in work activities
- Creativity and innovation is highly encouraged, leading to new products and designs
In this blogpost, we have discussed the different examples of good leaders. We have also explained the various characteristics an effective leader must have and why these traits are so important to an organization.
Frequently asked questions: (What are examples of a good leader?)
What are the 5 qualities of a good leader?
The 5 qualities any good leader will have are:
They are highly self-aware
Self-awareness is the knowledge of one’s own strengths as well as weaknesses. This is important for an individual’s self-esteem and also serves as an important leadership trait. When leaders are highly self-aware, they use the help of others to fill in their skill-gaps. They can also accept feedback and criticism and use it to better themselves.
They encourage critical thinking and innovation
Critical thinking or strategic thinking is highly important in an organization as it helps in the process of decision-making and problem-solving. Through critical thinking, teams can also prepare for foreseeable risks in the future. Great leaders not only encourage critical thinking but also creativity and innovation from their team members.
They inspire and motivate others
Great leaders not only focus on achieving higher goals for themselves but also push others to do more. They inspire others by speaking to them and interacting with them and mainly by demonstrating through example. When leaders are focused on developing others, it benefits the entire organization through constant learning and growth.
They have high integrity
Leaders need to show high integrity and ethics if they want to gain the respect and admiration of their team. This means following rules, listening to superior commands and also keeping promises. Leaders who show high integrity also show honesty and transparency, thus making them more authentic and responsible in the eyes of others.
They celebrate diversity
Teams around the world are becoming increasingly diverse. For diversity to be used as an asset and an important resource, it should be understood well. Leaders lead the way in this by interacting with those from other cultural and ethnical backgrounds. They also are ready to learn about various practices and use them for the betterment of the organization.
What are the 3 most important roles of a leader?
While leaders play many different roles in a team or an organization, there are 3 highly important roles every leader performs. These roles are:
The role of the goal-setter
It is up to the leaders to set the goals for the team or the organization. They need to set both short-term as well as long-term goals that serve as the vision of the organization. In order to set proper goals, leaders need to align these with the value system of the organization. When great leaders set goals, the team members participate actively as they deeply relate to them.
The planner and organizer
The leader is also in-charge of planning and organizing the team’s work processes. They need to come up with strategies that will guide the team members through their tasks and also solve any problems that may come their way. Leaders often plan and strategize the way forward by using critical thinking and involving the ideas and suggestions of others.
The coach and mentor
A great leader discovers the hidden talents and strengths of others in the team. They inspire and empower others to come out of their comfort zones and achieve their fullest potential. In tapping the strengths of others, the leaders bring more resources to the team and organization. They not only inspire others but also provide the required guidance and resources for this.
What are the qualities of a bad leader?
Bad leaders demonstrate and practice traits like:
- Not listening to what others have to say
- Avoiding conflicts altogether and not resolving them there and then
- Shedding their workload on others
- Not ready to actively participate in the work process
- Not following the value system of the organization
- Ineffective communication
- Lack of integrity
- Showing personal bias and discriminatory behavior
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