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In the corporate world, as people and organizations change, effective leadership styles undergo a change as well. The most important of all the qualities of a good leader is dealing with this change. After all, in life only one thing remains constant: change. So remember this point, rather, get it etched across your mind - Nothing is pervasive in leadership and management. Everything is an outcome of the particular trends and accepted values of a particular time period. You only have to consider all the changes that we have seen over the past 200 years in effective theories to see that leadership and management is all about managing change.

Leadership Attributes
  • Many leaders are born; however, one can become a good leader by developing the necessary skills as well. The characteristics of effective leadership depend a lot on the upbringing of a person.
  • It has been observed that children who are taught to take their own decisions always make better leaders. This is because making difficult decisions forms the crux of business leadership, and is perhaps the hardest part.
  • Another point which makes a person a good leader is the ability to get people to do what he wants them to do. This trait can also be seen in a lot of children who display good organizational skills and are able to delegate work to others when working in a team, whether it is a homework team or a sports team.
  • Thus, you can conclude that such skills can be effectively developed, not just inherited. Here are some of the most common qualities of an exemplary leader:
Set an Example
  • During your childhood, you may have played the game 'follow the leader'. In essence, we all play the same game in our professional lives, even today.
  • This is the reason why a good leader needs to display the characteristics and traits, which he wants his subordinates to possess.
  • Practice what you preach. To be a good leader, set a performance benchmark for the rest of the employees.
Enthusiasm
  • Let's face it, no one likes a grumpy boss. Discipline is one thing, but a leader should look like he is genuinely enjoying the job.
  • The important challenge is to create a pleasant working environment, which fosters effective upward and downward communication of ideas.
  • If he doesn't seem to enjoy the work he's doing, what kind of example is he setting on the rest of the employees?
Vision and Direction
  • A leader should have a clear vision of what he wants his business to look like after a few years.
  • But, a vision alone does not suffice. He should also be able to create a pathway in order to reach his goal.
  • He needs to know what steps he has to take to accomplish his vision. He also needs to ensure that his subordinates too, share the idea, and the entire organization is motivated enough to fulfill this 'shared vision'.
Clarity in Thinking
  • A good leader is a clear thinker.
  • Often, in times of crisis in the business due to a hostile internal or external business environment, the vision and thinking of people get clouded.
  • At such times, it is up to the leader to act as the guiding light to his subordinates and show them the way out of the business crisis.
Motivate Others
  • A leader is self-motivated, as he is working towards his vision. But what about his subordinates?
  • One can easily assume that the subordinates aren't quite part of this vision, so what is it that motivates them to work? The leader, of course.
  • He is supposed to sell his vision and goals to his employees.
  • The vision that he sets should be persuasive enough that the employees feel like becoming a part of that vision. For this, he needs to have very good people skills.
  • A leader should also make his subordinates feel like they are part of the team and not alienate them with the traditional 'I am the boss, you're not' mentality.
  • He should be able to extract the best from his employees through a shared vision and collective effort, not merely through coercion.
To summarize, understand that a leader should be able to manage change, but these qualities are such that will remain, irrespective of the prevailing management trends.