What are the most essential qualities required to be a good leader?

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Answered by: James, An Expert in the Leadership Category
Most great leaders do not become great by chance. It takes a certain type of individual to become a great leader and there are several things that all great leaders have in common. These things are essential leadership qualities that are required for leaders in all areas of life.

To become a great leader, a person must have the mindset of a leader. So, what exactly do leaders do? This question is often answered quite simply; leaders lead. Do you have the essential leadership qualities needed to be a great leader?

The first essential quality required in a leader is integrity. Integrity is something that explains a person's inner values and a person's integrity is displayed through his outward actions. People tend to respect leaders that display good integrity. It is a character trait that is hard to develop, but is often developed from childhood on.

Magnanimity is another essential quality that simply means to give credit where it is due.

A great leader does not want all of the credit of a company, project or job. Instead, a great leader distributes credit where it is due. He offers credit to those who earn it, and readily displays selfless characteristics. Many times, a leader will not take any credit himself, but will instead credit those around him. To display genuine magnanimity, a person must not be looking for attention to make himself look better, but must be willing to make those around him, stand out.

A great leader must not limit himself to strictly managing people, but should also take part in all types of activities. It is easier for employees, or others, to do their jobs when they see that their leader, or manager, is also willing to do the same job. A leader should take part in all types of activities, and should never think that certain jobs are beneath him.

Communication skills are required for leaders. A leader must be able to communication well with people, employees and customers. He must keep a good balance of assertiveness and respect. He must be able to delegate duties well, but be able to avoid demeaning people, or making them feel like they are unimportant. Good communication skills are required to convey messages to those a person is leading. Employees must understand directions. If they do not, their work may suffer. Not because they cannot do the job, but because they do not understand what is expected.

Finally, a great leader should be inspiring to those around him. He should display a sense of encouragement and should be a positive thinker. Great leaders are able to influence others to do a great job with whatever they are doing. Inspiring leaders tend to be more effective on the people they are leading. They cause those around them to want to do their jobs well, and to work towards the goals and visions of the company.

Great leaders possess these characteristics and much more. If you are involved in leadership, analyze your skills to determine if you have what it takes to be a great leader.

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