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The 6 characteristics of a good leader

3 min read


Arti Khanna combines more than 23 years of technology and business experience in communications to look at emerging trends and incubate new initiatives in communications and applied verticals.

I have seen leadership to be the single most influencing factor in realizing the end goal — the one difference between success and failure. While it is true that resources, capabilities, assets, tools, stimuli are all important, none of these emerge as being truly decisive.

It is no wonder then that leadership has been written about more than any other subject. And yet there is no common definition. There are some dimensions that are unquestioned, but many more that are constantly added to fit the context of the environment we operate in. The list can be as long as one’s imagination and experience — and yet the reality is that the core essence of leadership can be captured in a small capsule of a few high-impact dimensions.

In today’s interlinked global economy, an environment of constant evolution, radical implications and irrational business expectations, spurred by innovation in technology, has been created. Leadership in such a complex ecosystem sounds like a daunting task, and yet history provides with ample evidence that nothing but sound fundamentals pass the test of time and change.

Leadership is not about burning ambition but combining realism with moderation. Leadership is simply about adaptability.

A good leader who focuses on the basics is geared up to face the challenges and ride on toward the end goal and achieve success.

Priorities of a good leader: Leadership is not about generating consensus but setting clear direction and facilitating an effective collaboration to accomplish the goals. Leaders should:

  1. Harmonize different resources toward a common goal.
  2. Start with a well-developed plan but execute with the flexibility to adapt to changes.
  3. Foresee change by keeping a receptive mind and make the effort to constantly investigate and think things over. Leaders should also be able to take advantage of emerging situations and manipulate the advantage to create further change.
  4. Secure foreknowledge to develop a clear perspective of the capabilities of self, opposition and environment.
  5. Demonstrate patience and self-restraint and the ability to strike at the right time when there is something is to be gained.
  6. Take swift and decisive action to unleash full energy — speed and direction are both important.
  7. Nurture team spirit and administrating in a transparent and equitable way.

Characteristics of a good leader: A good leader is of sound character, balanced in his actions and fair in his dealings. He is disciplined in his efforts and minimizes emotional influences. A good leader:

  1. Weighs situations before every move.
  2. Is open and receptive to a variety of perspectives.
  3. Is aware and guards against inherent risks.
  4. Acts to win, takes calculated risk, but avoids needless risks.
  5. Demonstrates courage to override obstacles.
  6. Is adaptable and flexible — constantly looks to take the indirect path and to do the unexpected.

It is for each of us to put these definitions to the test of our own experiences and define the course to take on the path of success in our businesses and personal lives.