The effective Leader isn’t one persona but three: a Visionary, a Manager, and a Mentor.
Leadership Qualities as a Visionary
Amongst the many Leadership Qualities a leader must possess is the ability not only to be a visionary but to convey that message powerfully enough so employees want to strive for that goal which has a direct impact on the company’s bottom line.
The leader is the one who must outline a clear, specific, and effective strategy for bringing the vision to life. The vision will fail without a reasonable estimate of the necessary resources, including capital, facilities, equipment, people and talents essential to a successful implementation.
Determining what is needed, how to acquire it, and where best to deploy assets is fundamental to making a vision reality. Any map includes milestones along the road and a method for tracking results so that everyone involved knows at all times what progress is being made.
Leadership Qualities as a Manager
A manager, by definition, manages. In other words, the manager must plan the processes, create the rules, assign responsibilities, direct activity, provide training, focus efforts, control costs, measure progress and report on results.
The “leader as manager” is the one with the “hard skills” — the planning and organizing, the number crunching, the industry, equipment and process knowledge. This is the foundation of leadership on which true leaders build their soft skill development.
The key to being a successful manager / leader is the ability to troubleshoot. That is, to find solutions to problems and make effective decisions that will keep them from recurring.
Moving forward requires the soft skills and leadership qualities of vision and courage are absolutely essential for delegation as well as the ability to trust others and to get of the way, allowing people to make their own mistakes.
As the leader grows, she must not only delegate her managerial tasks, but also transition from being “hands on” to “hands off”. Being able to affectively assess the level of one’s involvement and required degree of tracking in delegated assignments is the main skill leap between the leader as manager and the leader as mentor/coach.
Leadership Qualities as a Mentor
This is the one that most affects the continuing growth of both people and the organization. It is also the face of leadership requiring the highest level of soft skills.
The mentor/coach must have the self confidence to not see growing the potential of others as personally threatening. The mentor focuses outward on results — not inward on actions; on strengths and on what can be — not on weakness and what is impossible.
The mentor maintains focus on the goal, the vision, and the “quest for the holy grail” that drives ordinary people to extraordinary performance. It has been said that everyone has it in him or her to be a superstar in some field, in some role.
The mentor helps a person define his or her strengths to build on them, to strengthen them, to find or create a role where these strengths can be utilized to their fullest potential. With proper mentoring, a person’s weaknesses — and we all have them — do not matter. People are driving their careers on a road that leverage their superstar qualities.
3 Leadership Qualities of a Leader
Therefore to be truly great, a leader must comfortably and effectively employ these 3 leadership qualities and have a clear picture of where they are headed, being secure in both their own hard and soft competencies. Defining the fundamental skills required is the first step in developing one’s leadership potential.
The leader must then be willing to recognize her limitations and weakness and be committed to continuous learning and development. This sort of honest self-evaluation, willingness to build on strengths and address development areas is fundamental on the road to the top.
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