I've been reading one of the most famous books on motivation and success, "Think and Grow Rich" by the renowned American author, Napoleon Hill. In fact it's such an important book for psychology, human behaviour, business success and much more. The author himself recommends reading the book many times in a year and even some chapters daily, not to mention his famous and often used "auto-suggestion" method to actually think and grow rich.
Today I was reading his chapter on Organised Planning and was very intrigued to come across a section on the major attributes of leadership, which are below with my points added;
Unwavering courage: to be a respected leader, followers tend to admire courage, especially in the face of adversity.
Self-control - if you cannot control your mood or temper then how can you control people properly.
A keen sense of justice - another one of the 4 virtues. a good leader cannot give the impression that he favours
Definiteness of Plans - a good leader should have a plan and a strategy on where they are going.You cannot lead people down a path, if you do not where you re going.
Definiteness of decision - in short, being decisive in taking decisions bravely.
The habit of doing more than paid for - we tend to say "going the extra mile" - putting extra hours to ensure that the task is completed
A pleasing personality - no one wants to be led by an unpleasant person
Sympathy and understanding - this is like empathy and the good leader must show genuine concern about each follower.
Mastery of detail - by this, you don't have to know everything your team knows but you must know everything there is be their leader.
Willingness to assume full responsibility - this is like leading from the front and accepting both failures and successes of both yourself and your team.
Cooperation - the author summarises this rather quaintly "leadership calls for power and power calls for cooperation". So to be an effective leader, you have to be able to gather people together mutually to achieve a goal. A good point for political leaders too.
To conclude, the author mentions the concept of the "intelligent follower", who follows their leader with a purpose, whether it is to learn and also one day assume the responsibility of leader too in the future. In fact, the intelligent follower is a very important follower for the leader, because intelligent followers do not follow ineffective leaders and will challenge their leaders if they begin to compromise on one of the 11 attributes above. I promise to share my concept of leadership and management later, which also encapsulates some of the above points. Sign up for my "honest management" coaching session to get more insights on how you too can develop these qualities.