Good Leadership Skills - The Defining Characteristics of An Effective Leader

good leadership skills

Good leadership skills are not easy to come by. Good leaders are rare.

That may surprise you because you know the world is well advanced in science and technology. Man has gone to the moon and has sent robots to mars. The universe is ours to conquer. So, how correct would it be to say good leadership skills are rare.

We don't need to debate that. Just look at human society. Take a moment to reflect on what man has done to fellow men.

Despite the amazing breakthroughs in science, technology, and medicine, billions still live in abject proverty.

  • A handful of people get rich at the expense of the poor
  • War merchants sell weapons of mass destruction indiscriminately resulting in bloody civil wars and mass unrest in many societies
  • Corruption is at its highest
  • Crime has skyrocketed
  • Leaders are power drunk and cling to power whatever the cost to the nation or their organization
  • Greed and selfishness holds sway

    Greed and selfishness. Yes, those are at the core of leadership failure.

    Much of the world's problems today is as a result of man's inhumanity to man caused by greed, selfishness (the me-first mentality), and corruption.

    On the other hand, good leadership skills dictate that you, as the leader, MUST serve those whom you lead.

    Good leaders are selfless. They think in terms of what will deliver the most good for those whom they lead.

    Good leaders . . .

  • Don't care who takes the credit. They just get the job done through people and allow them take credit for their contributions
  • Promote teamwork
  • Promote respect for law and order and are foremost in obeying the law
  • Lead by example
  • Are humble and compassionate
  • Are empathetic
  • Are passionate about positive change
  • Provide support and encouragement
  • Motivate subordinates to succeed
  • Are not biased, prejudiced, or tribalistic
  • Recognize employees who excel and
  • celebrate success

    The former CEO of the organization where I work ran the organization down. By the time his appointment was terminated, the company had lost about $130 million USD and heavily indebted to the banks.

    By the time he left, the CEO had spent 29 years in the organization, rising from management trainee all the way to the CEO. He joined the board as a director after 11 yrs in the organization and was CEO for about 14 years.

    As at the time he left, everything was in shambles and the organization was on the verge of collapse.

    What made him fail?

    It's not because he didn't understand management. He was a graduate, an MBA holder, and has attended innumerable management courses in management, leadership, and everything in-between.

    His failure came because of . . .

  • Arrogance
  • Desire for personal gain
  • Refusal to let go voluntarily when he couldn't lead the organization anymore . . . when the organization started making losses and losing touch with financial success
  • Admitting less than smart brains into the company's board of directors and
  • His unethical decision to manipulate financial data to retain his position

    My CEO wasn't the first to do this. Leadership failure has been at the centre of the crisis in many organizations and countries around the world.

    When you examine each case, you will find that - more often than not - the leader sort to profit himself and his cronies at the expense of his country or his organization.

    Therefore, good leadership skills starts with honesty, commitment to ethical standards in all business dealings, and a burning desire to help your people and your organization succeed.

    Know all the management theory available, read all the books on leadership management. You will still fail at leading people if you do not place your people above yourself.

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