What makes a good leader? Are there certain unique characteristics that the best trailblazers share? Is there some truth in the adage, “Great leaders are born, not made?” Although to some extent, the capacity for great leadership is innate, leadership is about many things – vision, performance, motivation and insight as much as it is about functional or technical abilities. Often leadership is about what ‘works’.
Every organization has its own benchmarks for determining who would make the best leader for teams. And a good leader is someone who is able to lead people and handle different types of personalities, maintaining a balance of soft skills and people skills. A good leader can help to make change possible even in adverse situations. Good leaders inspire others through action, suitably empower their teams by building trust, encourage creative solutions, and make the right decisions that keep the best interests of their employees and organization. They must be thoughtful, organized strategic planners with the necessary foresight to see how all the team mates can contribute to that success.
Every leader must learn to adapt their leadership style to his or her team members and distinct situations. However, the most effective leaders require a high degree of “emotional intelligence.” Research and recent studies reveal that emotional intelligence is the prerequisite of exceptional leadership. Of course, IQ and technical skills matter too – but more as “threshold capabilities” or the basic entry-level requirements. Even with the best training, analytical mind, an endless supply of innovative ideas, a person still needs the right emotional intelligence to make a great leader. For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. After all, who is more likely to succeed – a leader who yells at his team under stress, or one that stays in control, and calmly assesses the situation?
A good leader takes the lead, and has the personality, courage, clear vision with ambition to succeed. Encouraging the team to perform to their optimum at all times, a successful leader is the one with the right balance of technical capabilities and emotional intelligence to drive organizational success.