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Leadership Characterstics

There is already a surfeit of literature on the subject of leadership and still regular seminars are held to define, examine and evaluate the role and significance of leadership in the corporate world. Life is as complex as any enterprise. In fact, complexity has always been there to some degree, though the advances in technology have made the degrees somewhat greater than before. In a sense, knowledge or lack of it has always made the difference between the leader and the others. The explosion of knowledge in the past 25 years has necessitated training , seminars and workshops on management and leadership.

I propose to limit myself to a few observations on the subject. A successful Leader in any enterprise should welcome the infusion of new blood in the organisation because it brings with it new knowledge. Leaders should not nurse any hostility towards the new comers, who may arouse jealousy and a feeling of competition. The gap of several years does cause a difference between the two in the levels of intelligence, knowledge and skills. Besides the zeal of a new comer may also be more than that of the seniors at the job, who might legitimately lay claims to more experience. Both experience and knowledge are necessary for keeping the enterprise in the leadership position in the sphere of its operation. Only a good leader understands this simple but valuable clue. A poor leader will fail to achieve harmony of relations, based on mutual respect and trust because of cross communication. A successful leader on the other hand, would draw from the new knowledge brought by the new comer, update himself and ever remain receptive to new information, knowledge and ideas. He will establish his leadership by remaining ahead of all other members of his team. He has to act as a guide to others in the team. He has to prove his superiority in the day to day working, planning and running of the enterprise.

Another important attribute of a competent and effective leader is that he earns his place by example and not by commanding it. He has to be a paragon of ethics in the organization. Good conduct of the leader has a demonstration effect as no amount of lectures in a seminar or workshop is able to inculcate. Leaders inspire confidence by example. A leader of this stature earns the respect of his compatriots, which helps in the smooth running of the enterprise. An inspired team can work wonders.

Coupled with other qualities like initiate, anticipation, judgement, risk taking capacity and result oriented temperament, the above qualities forge a genuinely successful leader, who achieves success by sheer dent of his merit and not by chance. It may be said that leaders are not born but made. While leadership qualities may be inherited genetically, they need to be cultivated. In the modern knowledge world, situations, problems and enterprises have very complex roles for leaders. To meet these requirements, a leader must ever remain alert to assimilate new ideas from wherever they come. He must maintain the lead in every sphere.

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