By Tope Babatope
In our last edition we talked on leadership qualities during which we mentioned some of the qualities to seek for in anyone you hire. We will be concluding the series in this edition.
The best selling author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John C Maxwell said a leader without people skills soon has no followers. Excellent people skills involve a genuine concern for others, the ability to understand people , and the decision to make positive interaction with others a primary concern . Our behavior toward others determines their behavior toward us. A successful leader knows this.
Proven Track Record
Poet Archibald MacLeish once said, “There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience”. Leaders who learn this truth develop successful track records over time.
Everyone who breaks new ground, who strives to do something, makes mistakes. People without proven track records either haven’t learned from their mistakes or haven’t tried.
Management expert Robert Townsend notes, “Leaders come in all sizes, ages, shapes, and conditions. Some are poor administrators, some not overly bright. But there’s one clue for spotting them. Since most people per se are mediocre, the true leader can be recognized because somehow or other, his people consistently turn in superior performances”. Always check a candidate’s past performance. A proven leader always has a proven track record.
Confidence People will not follow a leader who does not have confidence in himself. In fact, people are naturally attracted to people who convey confidence. Confidence is characteristic of a positive attitude. The greatest achievers and leaders remain confidence regardless of circumstances. Confidence is not simply for show.
Confidence empowers. A good leader has the ability to instill within his people confidence in himself .A great leader has the ability to instill within his people confidence in themselves.
Great leaders always have self discipline-without exception. Unfortunately, our society seeks instant gratification rather than self-discipline .We want instant breakfast, fast food, movies on demand, and quick cash from ATMs. But success doesn’t come instantly. Neither does the ability to lead. General Dwight D. Eisenhower said , “There are no victories at bargain prices.” When it comes to self-discipline, people choose one of two things: the pain of discipline that comes from sacrifice and growth, or the pain of regret that comes from the easy road and missed opportunities.
Each person in life chooses. There are two areas of self discipline we must look for in potential leaders we are considering equipping . The first is in the emotions. Effective leaders recognize that their emotional reactions are their own responsibility. A leader who decides experience not to allow other people’s actions to dictate his reactions experiences an empowering freedom.
Effective Communication Skills
Never underestimate the importance of communication. Without the ability to communicate, a leader cannot effectively cast his vision and call his people to act on that vision. A leaders ability to convey confidence and his ability to communicate effectively are similar. Both require action on his part and a response from the follower.