Qualities of Leadership


To be able to prove effective leadership to his subordinates, a leader needs to have certain qualities. According to Orway Tead, a leader must posses, “physical and nervous energy, a sense of purpose and direction, enthusiasm, friendliness and affection, integrity, technical mastery, decisiveness, intelligence, teaching skills, and faith”.

According to Henry Fayol the qualities that a leader must possess are:

  1. health and physical fitness
  2. mental vigor and energy
  3. courage to accept responsibility
  4. steady, persistent, thoughtful determination
  5. sound general education, and
  6. management ability embracing foresight and art of handling men.

The more important qualities of a leader may be summarized as follows: 

1.                           Physical and mental vigor: The leader has to put in hard mental and physical work, which requires tremendous stamina and vigor to sustain long and irregular hours of work.

2.                           Emotional stability: The leader should not be unduly moved by emotion or sentiment. He should be able rationally and logically to analyze the various problems before him and reach a decision without any fear or favor. He should not lose his temper or show indecision even in the face to heavy odds.

3.                           Sense of judgments: The leader should be a master of human psychology. He should possess deep understanding of human behavior, emotions sentiments, needs, motives, etc. This would enable him to anticipate the response to his decision and actions.

 4.                           Balance: The leader should be rational and objective in his approach. He should be free from bias, prejudice and pre-conceived notions. Only then he would be able to decide issues on their merits.

5.                           Understanding or empathy: The leaders should show understanding for others viewpoints. If he tends to have his own way in all matters, he might lose their goodwill.

6.                           Motivation: Only a person who is himself well motivated can motivated others. The desire to lead people should come from within. If person is forced to do his job under fear of punishment, he would behave more like a follower than a leader.

7.                           Communicating Skills: The leader should be good at communicating deas, feelings, decisions, orders, etc. He should be good and effective speaker and writer. Then alone he would be able to persuade, inform stimulate and direct his subordinates.

8.                           Agility to guide: The leader should help his subordinates to learn. Both by word and deed, he should demonstrate to them the best ways of accomplishing the jobs.

9.                           Sociability: The leader should show keen interest in his subordinates. He should try to meet them often and encourage them to discuss their problems and difficulties with him. He should be friendly, helpful and easily accessible to all his subordinates.

10.                       Technical competence: The leader should possess a thorough knowledge of the theory and practice of his job. Besides, he should be quite familiar with the jobs done at different work points in his department.

11.                       Other personal abilities: The leader should have an attractive and pleasing personality. He should possess optimistic and cheerful outlook. He should have sound physical and mental health. His subordinates will accept his leadership only when they find him full of youthful vigor, energy, vitality, endurance and creativity.

Besides, he should be honest, sincere, fair and reasonable in his dealings with his subordinates. If he is a man of integrity and behaves with his subordinates in a dignified manner, his leadership will be cheerfully and enthusiastically accepted by one and all.