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6 Leadership traits that differentiate leaders from non leaders

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Drive: Leaders have a high effort level, they are relatively determined towards achieving an objective. They are motivated, full of energy and ambitious which is converted into working tirelessly in their activities, and they show initiative.

Desire to Lead: Leaders have a strong desire to influence and lead other. This is demonstrated in their willingness to take responsibility. A business leader who is not motivated to lead, will quickly be seen as a fraud in their followers/ sub-ordinates eyes.

Honesty and Integrity: Leaders build strong relationships between themselves and sub-ordinates by being truthful and non-deceitful and by showing high consistency between word and deed. Holding ones integrity can be more difficult than initially assumed; – Daily crisis and changing internal and external conditions make it extremely difficult to hold on to their morals and ethics.

Self Confidence: A leader must have a firm belief in his powers. Followers look to leaders in times of self doubt. Leaders therefore need to show self confidence in order to convince followers of the rightness of goals and decisions.

Intelligence: To assume leadership roles, it is necessary to be able to communicate intellectual knowledge at several levels. Leaders need to be able to gather, synthesize and interpret large amounts of information; – using this information to execute correct decisions, create visions and solve problems.

Job Relevant Knowledge: Effective leaders have a high degree of knowledge about the line of work/industry and technical matters they are confronted with. In depth knowledge allows leaders to make well-informed decisions and to understand the implications of those decisions.

“We were surprised shocked really to discover the type of leadership required for turning a good company into a great one. Compared to high-profile leaders with big personalities who make head-lines and become celebrities, the good-to-great leaders seem to have come from Mars. Self-effacing, quiet, reserved, even shy – these leaders are a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. They are more like Lincoln and Socrates than Patton or Caesar.” Jim Collins ‘Built to Last’.

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