A leader is someone who can inspire, motivate, and stir confidence in the people he leads. A leader is someone who can motivate the people he leads and finds new strategies to improve the organization he leads and make it move forward. A leader is only a leader if he can add value to the organization he leads and make it better than he found it. A leader is someone who can trigger off uncommon and extraordinary confidence in the people he leads. A leader is a man or woman of the ship is mostly about relationships. Therefore, a good leader attaches great importance to how he or she relates to other people especially his followers. influence.
Myles Munroe who is an authority on leadership defines leadership in his book The Spirit Of Leadership this way: Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration motivated by a passion generated by a vision produced by a conviction, ignited by a purpose.
A good leader fascinates and fires the imagination of his followers so that they can work harder and perform their duties better. In other words, a leader is a visionary with a well-defined vision that caters as a roadmap and guides him, his followers, and the organization. However, then the vision must be acted upon and followed through until the desired results are achieved.
Effective and quality leadership is relational. A good leader does not gloss over nor underplay the importance of relationships because leadership is about relationships. Therefore, a good leader attaches great importance to how he or she relates to other people especially the followers. John C Maxwell who is known and renown as a leadership guru has this to say about leadership in his book How To Influence People:
Leadership [which is a specific application of influence] is at its lowest level when it is based on position only. It grows and goes to a higher level as you develop relationships with others. That’s when they give you permission to lead beyond the limits of your job description.
People who benefit from the quality and successful leadership are dedicated followers who get closer to their superiors and learn the secrets of their bosses’ successful leadership styles. As the old adage says;
Closer to the bone, the sweeter the meat is.
On the other hand, critical subordinates don’t learn anything from their superiors because they are fault-finders rather than faithful disciples.
Courage is an important quality of leadership. Every leader worth his salt must have the courage to move people and the organization he leads forward. When Moses died before the children of Israel reached the promised land, God had a pep talk with Joshua to prepare, inspire, and motivate him as a successor. God told Joshua without mincing words to become courageous for him to successfully carry out the daunting and challenging task ahead of him.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
A good leader is not someone who lives in ivory towers but someone who is ever close to the followers so that they can be motivated. Jesus is a model of quality leadership because He was always with His disciples. Consequently, the disciples managed to spread the gospel to almost all the corners of the world disregarding the fact that they were only a handful. Incredible! The leadership style of Jesus rubbed off on to the disciples through their regular interaction with Him. Good leaders reproduce good leaders and bad leaders reproduce bad leaders and there are no two ways about it. You simply reap what you sow and that is the nature of life.
Integrity is an integral part of leadership. Suffice it to say it is the hallmark and foundation of leadership. Any type of leadership without the solid foundation of integrity is built on sand and cannot endure the hard knocks of life. Integrity is the be-all-and-end-all of leadership. Leadership, and leadership, is no leadership at all without the trappings of integrity and all that go with it. Integrity is the true definition of quality and effective leadership. Myles Munroe who has written extensively about leadership and integrity, says integrity must be the lifestyle of every leader.
A great leader is imaginative and he periodically injects fresh ideas into his followers to maximize their potential so that he can bring the best out of them to increase production and services as the case may be.
Great leaders are men and women of authority but they don’t go around throwing their weight around because they know that respect is earned and not imposed and that requires wisdom.
Great leaders are competent and because of competence, their organizations thrive on excellence.
You are a leader in one way or the other in your sphere of influence. As Myles Munroe aptly puts it: You are in essence a leader, no matter who you are, regardless of whether you manifest or not. Therefore you need to have the foresight to drive your followers and organization to your destination according to your vision. A true leader and great leader is capable of shifting people from where they are or from where he found them to a far better place according to his vision because true and great leadership is progressive.
Great leadership is not about age but about the ability to change the status quo and the ability to influence followers to successfully carry out a specific assignment at a specific time for a specific goal. There are lots of old men who have carved themselves a niche as great leaders and there are young men who have succeeded in business, politics, and the entertainment industry and they are commanding respect. Therefore, age cannot and should not be used as a scapegoat for leadership fiasco. Leadership is not about age but about vision and the ability to lead people and to punch through the obstacles along the way to get to the intended destination.
You should never give up or surrender as a leader until you achieve your objective. If things don’t work out the first time, just change the strategy. The only time you should give up is when you die, but even then, ensure that you are truly dead!
These are but just a few things that constitute quality and effective leadership’ The qualities of leadership are inexhaustible.
Gilbert Sikanyika is a Zambian Freelance Journalist/Pastor