Who is a Leader in Society?
Which qualities define such a person? Most of us imagine a leader as someone who inspires others to follow him or her. A leader is someone that understands human nature and takes all the advantages of this understanding. The belief or perception is that only a few people are born with these leadership traits in our society. However, there is a leader inside everyone with leadership qualities that wants to be awakened and bloom into the person we all aspire to become. Development of leadership skills is possible but it requires time and effort. With persistence and gradual work, a person, who is not a strong leader can become one by improving their communication skills, respect for others, and leading by example.
As a leader, it is key to inspire your employees to push themselves for the company to succeed. In order to succeed the leader must provide the example themselves and show with behavior and not just words. One leader who led by example was Mahatma Gandhi. He lived his life based on the preaching he told others to follow. He was committed to nonviolent resistance to protest injustice and people followed him. Gandhi led the Indian People to Independence because he proved by example it could be done in a peaceful way instead of violence.
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However, when leaders do not lead by example thefollowers/workers lose enthusiasm and respect for the leader. For example, if Alexander the Great wasn’t in the front lines fighting along with men; he would have been cast as an ordinary general of the Classical Period. His great leadership qualities and leading by example allowed him to motivate and connect with his soldiers resulting in them winning many battles and wars. The first important trait of a good leader is to lead by example because it motivates your employees and enables them to know you are as committed as they are to the company.
Respect is a leader’s most valued and valuable leadership quality because it is the gateway for trust and inspiration. Great leaders have to be respected in order to be successful, but earning that respect takes time and effort. When employees respect you, they are more likely to work harder to accomplish a shared goal they believe in. When Success Magazine asked followers the best way to show respect to others, 65% responded by listening to others. An example of this is through a policy called Open-Door Policy. In the Open Door Policy teaches team members who enter to remain silent if the CEO or other leader hands are on the keyboard allowing him time to finish his thought, sentence or entry. Once the CEO is done they push his desk chair away from the computer, smile and gives his/her full attention to the individual. His time and attention to their concerns or thoughts make others feel valued and respected. In comparative to an environment where there is no respect or time given to share concerns tend to foster a difficult and uncommitted staff. Under these circumstances, numerous employees will leave and look for employment in another company.
Great communication skills are by far one of the most important traits for an effective leader. Especially in an organization/ business where communication is essential to their success. A lack of communication in an organization will enable it to lose sight of its goals and cause confusion among employees in the workplace. An example of the importance of effective communication skills happened in 2013 with Yahoos “ In Office” Policy. The head of the human resources of Yahoo sent an Internal memo stating Yahoo employees working from home would no longer have the option anymore. They were given the choice relocate to an office or quit. The memo sparked negative connotation and was leaked onto the Internet because the memo did not address why this significant change happened. For employees, that had been working 12 to 14 hours a day from home it was very disheartening. After the backlash, it wasn’t until two months later when the CEO of Yahoo spoke at a Conference and stated the reason behind the change: CEO Marissa stated, ” The best ideas come from in-person collaboration,” However, if this would have been addressed in the memo it wouldn’t have sparked an outrage among the employees. If the CEO would have started his memo with we appreciate everything you do for our company but for our move to move forward dialogue amongst ourselves will yield better results for our company would have been better received than relocate or quit your job. Communication is essential to being a good leader.
In every one us there is a leader we just have to look for the opportunities. Whether it was maybe as the captain of the soccer team or being the leader of a school project in school or our student body president. Hopefully, these beginning leadership opportunities will inspire and help one of us one day become the CEO of a company or the President of the United States. But to aspire to one of these important roles it is important to know and understand what qualities make a good or bad leader: good communication skills, respect, and most important leading by example.