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Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one. - Marcus Aurelius

The quote puts the crux of leadership into simple words. Truly, leaders don't bother about, the qualities of good or wise men, they just do it. Mahatma Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, Nelson Mandela, and Rosa Parks were all leaders, who have been immortalized by their actions. They have all shaped the world's past, present, and future in more ways than one. Distinctive leadership characteristics of all these people is that, they fought, all long, in what they believed to be right. Although, Adolf Hitler adhered to cruelties, he led innumerable men to follow his dogma. Thus, a leader is not necessarily, someone, who does what benefits the society. The real life implementation of these traits differ, due to varying perceptions of people. Even though, the traits remain the same, the act of leading often differs.

Honesty
The most important trait of a good leader is honesty. A leader will always lead. However, if he leads with honesty, he is likely to last longer. A dishonest leader, wins his audience for a shorter time, however, an honest leader, is always immortalized. Ever wondered why there is usually a new Prime Minister every five years?

Avant Garde
Being a visionary and having an avant-garde attitude is an undeniable leadership trait. A leader only becomes a leader, when he has an aim, objective, motive, or a goal. The desire and the capability of leading people, arises, because there is an aim to be achieved. This trait enables an effective leader to understand that 'united we stand and divided we fall'.

Emotional Intelligence
A leader has the emotional intelligence to control his emotions when required. Often, ordinary persons break under pressure or give up when pushed a little out of their comfort zone. On the contrary, a leader, in such a situation, takes up the task as a challenge and an opportunity to learn. The truest and the best leadership qualities are always witnessed at demanding times.

Integrity
A leader preaches, only what he practices. His integrity, i.e. his moral values and his actions are always in tandem with each other. His actions are always centered towards his integrity. This trait is what wins him the trust of his people.

Munificence
Leadership principles imbibe the importance of being munificent in a leader. A leader is leading people to accomplish his mission. If his followers fail him, then the mission in itself fails. Thus, a leader understands the role of people and hence, he never wavers from giving them the due credit and appreciation. Motivated people in an organization have qualities of generosity.

Confidence and Ability to Communicate
The confidence of the leader, instigates his followers to believe in him. He speaks his every word with the zeal of an evangelist, which assures his followers of building excellence, par belief. A good leader, can always speak in a manner that the listeners understand, which is what helps him to communicate better. An efficient leader in never stuck up in the jungle of jargon, which leaves his audience baffled. He is always clear and concise, while communicating his motives and plans.

Inspiring
Last but not the least, a leader can inspire people. He does so by giving them a drive to achieve their dreams. People lack the energy and the inspiration to work towards perfection. The qualities within a leader helps him to inspire people to achieve the bigger picture. Inspiring is another way of clear communication of goals and passions. Everybody, in the subconscious, knows, that change is the only constant factor. It is the leader who reaffirms this by convincing the people to change.

Personal charisma, undying enthusiasm, team spirit, maturity earned over the years, intuitiveness, experiences, and competitiveness are other qualities that every leader must have. A leader is born and not made. No school, no textbook, or no training programs can teach you how to lead or instill any leadership skills. These leadership traits are not something that you are born with. They are what you sharpen over the years.