There are two types of people in the world. One type is known as leaders, and the other as followers. Recently with friends and colleges, we discussed what qualities are required to be a better leader.
First of all, we all agreed that to become a great leader first you should be an excellent follower and be willing to learn, copy and adopt all qualities that will later develop in your leadership. In fact, most great leaders began in the capacity of followers. I was lucky to follow and learn from a number of great leaders before moving to a position where leadership skills are required.
To help describe qualities of leadership I will refer to one of my favorite books by Napoleon Hill – “Think and Grow Rich”. This book has so much gold in it and is worth to be read more than once. In fact, I just went through that book 3rd time and will go back even more. The book “Think and Grow Rich” is the one that will have a special place in my library.
In general, there are two forms of Leadership that is described by Napoleon Hill in the book. The first, “the most effective, is LEADERSHIP BY CONSENT of, and with the sympathy of the followers. The second is LEADERSHIP BY FORCE, without the consent and sympathy of the followers.”
The world is constantly changing so it is an art of leadership. We live in an era of relationship between leaders and followers, which very clearly requires new leaders and a new brand of leadership in business and industry. In our era leadership by force is not working anymore, so a lot of companies and communities also change their course and new leader come in.
“Those who belong to the old school of leadership-by-force, must acquire an understanding of the new brand of leadership (cooperation) or be relegated to the rank and file of the followers. There is no other way out for them.”
Further will be listed 11 factors of leadership every future leader should think about.
11 Important Factors of Leadership
The following are 11 important factors of leadership listed in the book “Think and Grow Rich”
1. UNWAVERING COURAGE
Unwavering courage based upon knowledge of self, and of one’s occupation. No follower wishes to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence and courage. No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader very long.
The man who cannot control himself can never control others. Self-control sets a mighty example for one’s followers, which the more intelligent they will emulate.
3. A KEEN SENSE OF JUSTICE.
Without a sense of fairness and justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of his followers.
4. DEFINITENESS OF DECISION.
The man who wavers in his decisions shows that he is not sure of himself. He cannot lead others successfully.
5. DEFINITENESS OF PLANS.
The successful leader must plan his work, and work his plan. A leader who moves by guesswork, without practical, definite plans, is comparable to a ship without a rudder. Sooner or later he will land on the rocks.
6. THE HABIT OF DOING MORE THAN PAID FOR.
One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of the leader, to do more than he requires of his followers.
7. A PLEASING PERSONALITY.
No slovenly, careless person can become a successful leader. Leadership calls for respect. Followers will not respect a leader who does not grade high on all of the factors of a Pleasing Personality.
8. SYMPATHY AND UNDERSTANDING.
The successful leader must be in sympathy with his followers. Moreover, he must understand them and their problems.
9. MASTERY OF DETAIL.
Successful leadership calls for mastery of details of the leader’s position.
10. WILLINGNESS TO ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY.
The successful leader must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistakes and the shortcomings of his followers. If he tries to shift this responsibility, he will not remain the leader. If one of his followers makes a mistake and shows himself incompetent, the leader must consider that it is he who failed.
The successful leader must understand, and apply the principle of cooperative effort and be able to induce his followers to do the same.
“Leadership calls for POWER, and power calls for COOPERATION.”
If you want to be a great leader study this list and make an audit of your everyday actions. I believe that a lot of new leaders (like me) by reading this list will reveal a number of action points to focus on for the next period. The first step for me to transit from follower to leader was to accept and take responsibility for everything I do or I delegate to do than creating goals, plans and follow through them. I still mastering my self-confidence, self-control, decision-making process and the importance of details.
“You can never learn less; you can only learn more. The reason I know so much is because I have made so many mistakes.” – BUCKMINSTER FULLER
In the book “Think and Grow Rich” there are more evergreen wisdom and some of them will appear also in my next blog posts.