Defining leadership characteristics is not simple. This is because each leader has his\her own characteristics. However there are some common features required for an exemplary leader. A typical leader should know how to influence his team members to work harder and committed to achieve the overall organizational goals. A leader can be either task oriented or people oriented. Task oriented leader will be interested in training, performance and in winning. Whereas people oriented leader will concentrate more on inter personal relationship.
A leader must have the characteristics which he\she wants to incorporate into his\her team. Discipline, self confidence etc are the essential qualities of a leader. As he\she is the role model for the followers, his\her movement will be keenly watched by others. Therefore a leader must be careful in doing things.
Leaders are not born and they are made by hard work. Hence hard work and intelligence are the important leadership characteristics. A leader must take decisions after analyzing each and every aspect of the situation and must be able to use common sense in accomplishing complex tasks. He must also know how to select right strategy to tackle the situation. Adaptability to various situations and willingness to accept changes are crucial to leadership.
A good leader must be able to motivate his\her team members to get success. He must create task excitement and confidence in accomplishing a task. He must be easily approachable to his subordinates. A great leader is one who is a master in the art of communication. He\she must be ready to listen to the words of his\her team members. Two way communications is therefore essential in leadership.
A leader must be able to push the entire effort of his team members. He should have the capacity to use the full potentiality of the members. He must give opportunities to the team members to prove their skills. A good leader should motivate his team people to use the opportunities correctly.
A great leader is one who guides a team and not rules the team. Providing a trusting and open environment to the team members is one of the crucial leadership characteristics. He should offer an environment to the team members where they can learn and grow. An excellent leader will have the strong sense of vision.
Apart from the above characteristics mentioned, a good leader must have the following characteristics:
1. Self esteem; Self esteem is an important quality of a leader which will help to face tough challenges.
2. Need to achieve; a leader must be goal oriented and must be able to strive hard to achieve the goals. He\she should be ready to take risks. A good leader is one who takes moderate risks and not extreme risks.
3. Screening for opportunity; a leader must have the ability to screen the opportunities as useful and useless. He must also be able to grasp any small opportunity missed by the competitors.
4. Optimism; a good leader must be an optimist. He should be able to see problems as challenges. A great leader will always view an obstacle as a way to new direction.
5. Courage; an outstanding leader is one who has courage to face challenges. Risk taking is a crucial characteristic of a leader. He must be able to make changes and to accept changes.