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What Are the Characteristics of a Leader: Essay

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Certain characteristics make us from ordinary people to great leaders. You can see countless examples all around you where the need for a team lead, manager, supervisor, etc. is always there so that they can mobilize people to get the work done. People don’t work according to their job description and tend to lose track unless they are directed. It’s sad but true as the role of a manager is such these days. Contrary to the role of a manager is that of a leader. A great leader is one who can motivate others and make them follow a path that can lead them to success. A leader possesses many qualities or traits that make them a class apart. Political leaders like Winston Churchill and Mao Zedong are revered for what they did for their countries and led them toward economic and political glory. In this paper, I will discuss the main, in my opinion, characteristics that make a person a true and great leader in every sense.

The first characteristic of a leader is to lead by example. While you may argue that this is such a cliché when anyone refers this point to leadership and habits of effective leaders, this is an important one too. If the leader will not possess the quality of leading by example, then how come the people who look up to him will follow suit? That’s why it’s imperative for a leader and a quality worth looking at. The commitment of a leader to his team, company, nation, etc. is that he will give his heart and soul to the cause for which he is appointed or for which he has taken the initiative. This is such an important factor, because if the team or people believe that their leader is capable of what he is saying, then they do achieve what they are aspiring for.

Communication is the real work that makes a person a leader. If a person at the helm of the affairs of a company or running a city as a mayor is not able to communicate well with the people, he won’t be successful in his role. A leader should be able to tell his subordinates or people what is going on in his mind and what he is up to so that any action he takes will be backed by the people knowing that he will stand for their rights or positively work for them. The communication process in this regard should be inspirational and to the point. A leader shouldn’t beat about the bush in talking to his team and telling them what is right or wrong. Instead, he should talk in a clear way with understanding the point of view of the people with whom he is talking and shouldn’t just force his decision onto them. Even in doing so, a rational approach and making his viewpoint to the people understandable is necessary.

Going against the tide is a very courageous move. It is, therefore, a great quality of a person to have the daring to do a task or go towards unchartered territory that may look insane and impossible at first, but only time proves them right. To take difficult or unpopular decisions is another characteristic that is hard to find in many top executives and leaders who run a city, state, country, etc. When an adverse situation springs up, a leader who is courageous sees this as an opportunity rather than a situation impossible to handle. This is where such a leader becomes inspirational in his stance to tackle the situation in a manner that he makes it look easy to handle situations like that. The strategic decision they take is based on their wisdom and courage to tackle a scenario in a particular way to make it easy.

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People think of a leader as a stubborn one with not talking too much to the workers/ people and offering little to his subordinates in terms of relief in any matter. You must have read the communication part described above, and it's obvious from these that such a stubborn person cannot be a good leader, at least in a broader sense. Humbleness is a quality that makes him a loving personality and whose orders are always obeyed and completed. A true leader doesn’t manipulate his position in making decisions or enforcing them. He would rather make a ploy so that he portrays his kind side and ask the followers to follow him in a polite way rather than show anger and disrespect all the time. A humble person can become a great leader based on this one quality alone.

Being able to motivate people to do a task or to commit to a cause is another great characteristic of a true leader. People need a person who can inspire them toward a goal and show them the way forward. It’s very common that most people need someone to push them hard so that they can make an effort without fail and do not show signs of fatigue or unwillingness. A good leader also motivates people towards a task or cause that seems impossible at first. Hence, his motivation is a big factor in this regard.

A leader's passion and willingness towards a cause are necessary so that he can lead a team or group of people toward a goal. A leader who is passionate about the cause can be successful in making people a sincere effort rather than just doing the task half-heartedly. Enthusiasm is really necessary for a person to inspire others to do what he thinks is right and complete anything, even an online task that requires people to make an effort.

And the final characteristic is accountability. A leader in a true sense not only makes people accountable for their work but also lets others check his leadership style and question his actions and decisions. A leader should support his followers so that everyone trusts his ability to deliver the goods and is never afraid of asking him to reconsider any decision if the majority thinks he needs is responsible for a project or system failure.

Summarizing all of the above, the answer to the question of what characteristics a leader possesses will be as follows. A leader is a person who knows how to set an example and motivate, who has excellent communication skills, who is courageous and at the same time humble, passionate and responsible for his work.

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What Are the Characteristics of a Leader: Essay. (2023, November 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 4, 2024, from
“What Are the Characteristics of a Leader: Essay.” Edubirdie, 21 Nov. 2023,
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