What a project needs to be successful is a sound leadership. It is easy to come across new and unique ideas. However, it is the execution of these ideas successfully under able guidance that makes all the difference. There are different views on if leaders can be born or cultivated. However, there is a greater consensus on the qualities a leader should have and what it takes to be a good leader. Under adverse conditions, when the stress levels get high, a strong leader can lead his team through and on the way to success.
What is a leader and what kind of skills should they have? It is true that the number of leaders is far lower than the number of followers. One can try to emulate great leaders by studying their actions. There are certain traits or qualities that are found to be common in a leader. It is also true that there are leaders who have nothing in common but will still have the certain set of qualities that can be cultivated. Most leaders work at developing a keen interest in other people, and this is a great way to get others interested in you. A leader is not afraid to take risks or make mistakes as they are well aware that mistakes are bound to happen. A leader, in fact, believes that the more the mistakes, the more opportunities to learn. The strength lies in not repeating the mistake. A good leader will never be afraid to fail as he knows that failures will surface from time to time. However, he will keep on trying. Good leaders cultivate loyalty among their followers by being loyal to them. In fact, a leader is known by his followers (Perspectives on Leadership). If the team is loyal and efficient, so will be the leader. There have been two basic styles of leadership observed, one of fear and other of encouragement and both styles have been found to be effective. The style of fear works in fields like the armed forces. However, the encouragement style of leadership with the confidence of the team to get things done. Whatever approach a leader follows, it should be consistent.
Should a leader be liked or respected? Leaders are judged on the basis of if they are technically good or are morally good. Most of the times, it is not easy for the leaders to have both qualities. Some leaders may be ethical, but not very effective in getting things done. There is very little written about in history about leaders who have been ethical but were not able to achieve anything of significance. A highly moral general who never won a battle will rarely be written about. Most historians prefer writing about historians who changed history, either for better or worse. Leadership educators often face the dilemma of teaching the right things without causing any conflicts with reality. It would be great to find a leader who is both liked and respected. There is still a certain level of ambiguity as to what people look for in their leaders. History shows as to how fast the definitions of a good leader are adjusted by people when they are unsure or afraid (Ciulla). As shown in one of the images, the challenges of leaderships have been very rightly explained by Jim Rohn. The leader has to walk a thin line, balancing out things in the right direction. For example, he needs to be strong but without sounding rude to his team. It means that he has to watch out his body language and the way he speaks to his subordinates without sounding timid or bossy. He should not look weak or bully, but kind and bold. He should come across as a humble and thoughtful individual, who is firm and not timid or weak. Being arrogant can weaken his image. He should be humorous, but firm in his decisions. It has been found that the most successful and liked leaders carry a higher level of emotional intelligence. It means that the technical skills are irrelevant and even with those endless supply of great ideas, one can still not be a great leader. It is the stable relationship between emotional intelligence and effective performance that makes good leaders. Some of the fundamental components of emotional intelligence include motivation, empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, and social skills.
Ciulla, Joanne B. "What Is Good Leadership?" Center For Public Leadership (2014): 116-22. Print.
"Perspectives On Leadership." Perspectives On Leadership. Air University Review, 1985. Web. 8 July 2015. <http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/aureview/1985/sep- oct/orr.html>.