Leadership is nothing but the quality which makes a person stands out different from other ordinary employees. It is associated with such a person who has aggressiveness in speech and action, love for the employees, and who can handle pressure under different circumstances and a person who is always ready to fight for the rights of employee. A leader is useless without followers. It is the followers who make a person as a leader and if required overthrow him.
Leaders play a critical role during change implementation, the period from the announcement of change through the installation of the change. During this middle period the organization is the most unstable, characterized by confusion, fear, loss of direction, reduced productivity, and lack of clarity about direction and mandate. It can be a period of emotionalism, with employees grieving for what is lost, and initially unable to look to the future.
In addition to forecast and amiability, the characteristics that leader must have are ability to recognize employees’ talents, the know-how to make teams work and an open mind.
Leadership does vary to some extent as per the positions i.e. it may be slight different for manager and different for a union leader but the basic qualities of leadership does not change.
1. Good communication skill
Communication is the key to be a great leader. The reason for this is simple: if he possesses the other nine leadership qualities but if he fails to communicate well, he will never be great leader.
What he can do is communicate with others in the organization about what IT can do to move the company forward. In other words, good communication is the key for developing good business relationships. If he can’t establish a good business working relationship, he is not going to be that leader, that team player. He will not be able to communicate how IT can add long-term value to the company. The modern leaders must therefore be equipped with good communication skill and use new ways to do effective communication.
The most valuable asset of a leader is honesty. He must be honest with both his employees and the management committee. Another part of his features is integrity. Once a leader compromises his or her integrity, it is lost. That is perhaps the reason integrity is considered the most admirable trait. The leaders therefore must keep it “above all else.”
3. Visionary outlook
Leadership qualities are different for different position. For a CIO he must be thinking for stabilizing the current business and always looking for future scope of expansion. He has to be able to look beyond where we are today, know where the business is going, and be able to use that vision to move the company forward. Being able to do this is a rare skill indeed.
4. Selecting a good team
A good CIO although he possesses sound technical skills he assures that the team he selects is efficient enough to back up any skill he lacks. Choosing the best people for such team is a skill. A CIO after all is a human being and does not have answer for everything. But by working together he creates an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect; the team then always find the best solution.
5.Action speaks louder than words
Managers must be able to put aside their concerns to listen to (and appear to listen to) those around them. As a result, they come know what is going on, and know what is both said, and said between the lines. They have the knack of appearing to know what people need even if those needs are not expressed directly. However, knowing what is going on, and identifying the needs of those around them is not sufficient. The responsive manager also acts upon that knowledge, attempting to help fulfill the needs of employees, superiors, etc. Responsive managers wield influence to solve problems for those around them, often before even being asked.
6. Ability to motivate people around
A good leader must always keep motivating his team mates for good work and should maintain healthy environment. He must give first priority to safety of workers and see that they are not exploited by superiors.
Leadership effectiveness is impossible without consistency. Every leader has an approach that is unique to them. Don’t change your personal style radically after all; it got you in a leadership position. Modify the rough spots but take care not to confound your staff by displaying inconsistency. Your expectations, though subject to modification based on ever-changing business needs, should remain as constant as possible. The business world is confusing enough without you adding unwelcome surprises into the mix. Keep things simple and consistent.
8. Ability to stand against critics
As the success rate increases your critics multiply and become louder. Come to peace with the fact that you will always have a camp of people who critique every decision you make. They are generally the ones who are excellent problem-identifiers rather than problem-solvers. Develop your skills of repelling such critics so that they do not diminish your confidence or enthusiasm.
It takes focus and confidence not to be adversely affected by criticism. Strong leaders learn the art of listening to critics, but ultimately making decisions for the good of the department, not to simply please the critics. The following quote sums it up nicely: “Some of the most talented people are terrible leaders because they have a crippling need to be loved by everyone.” As rightly stated by James Schorr.