Whenever leadership is mentioned there must be a leader in the picture, who is a leader? Is a leader and a boss different by any means? What traits make a person carry the title leader? Are leaders born or made? This and much more will be answered in this article.
Leadership is the ability of an individual or a group of individuals to influence and guide followers or other members of an organization. Having that in mind who is a leader? We all know that the lion is the king of the jangle; what does a lion have that brings out the qualities of a king/ leader? The lion is not the smartest, fastest nor is he the strongest. He is not even the fastest animal in the jangle. The Lion however is the most confident animal and just like a King it maintains law and order. The lion maintains order by killing the animals which if were left to overcrowd savanna they would destroy the ecosystem. Having that in mind we can derive some traits of a leader.
Research estimate that leadership is a third born and two thirds made. Traits such as strong-willed, empathy, and social intelligence are important elements of leadership but self- awareness, skills and experience, training are also very important.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell. Definition of a leader by John C. Maxwell carries so much weight especially with regards to traits of a leader. Some traits of a leader are honesty, confidence, commitment, integrity, able to make decisions, good in communication, accountable just to mention a few. One fatal mistake a leader can make is become, overconfident about their abilities and judgement, which lead them to make imprudent decisions or choices.
Irresponsible leaders can sink an organization, research shows 40 percent of CEO resign due to integrity issues such as corruption and fraud. Leaders that put their personal interests ahead of ethics or professionalism are always at a risk of putting their positions and the entire organization in jeopardy.
One point to note as a leader always create a healthy working environment for your team by welcoming employee’s voice through upward- communication. Finally remember “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”