Home > Organizational Behaviour > Qualities of a leader- P.J Philip

Qualities of a leader- P.J Philip

October 30, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Qualities of a leader by P.J.PHILLIP

Adapted by Navendu K.Sharma

Click here to download pdf

Qualities of a good leader

  1. 1. Innate Qualities

Innate means “inborn”. Researchers say that there could be some qualities which people are born with and may be essential for them to be a good leader.

Physical features

Most of our physical features are inborn because they are passed on from earlier generations to ours genes. Physical features are not essential in all areas, but there are areas where physical features are important.

For example, if someone wants to get into the army, he should have a minimum height, no spectacles, a particular range of weight and etc. So we can keep our physical features in good condition, but there isn’t much we can do to change our physical features because they are inborn.

Mental Ability Intelligence

Scientists say that we are born with basic intelligence. So there is nothing much we can do about it, but we can keep it fit just like physical features by exercising our intelligence on a regular basis, so that we can sharpen our intelligence. But basically, we cannot change our intelligence.  So all leaders require a certain level of intelligence.

  1. 2. Acquired Qualities

These are the qualities which are acquired through training. These qualities are not only required for good leaders but also for people’s life skills to be successful in life.

Domain knowledge and skills

You have to be good at the skills and knowledge in which you are functioning or operating. Only then, your sub-ordinates will respect you as a leader.

For example, if you want to be a cricket captain, first and foremost you should be a good cricketer. If you want to be a project leader of a group of computer engineers, first and foremost you should be a good computer engineer. When your sub-ordinates come to you with problems, you should find solutions to them and they should feel that their leader is one step ahead of them. This is when your sub-ordinates respect you as a leader.

Inter-personal Skills

Leadership is about persuading people, which means your ability to understand other people, your ability to interact and influence other people. This is where your inter-personal skills become important and can be acquired through training.

Communication Skills

A leader will have to persuade his followers to do things and rise above their personal interest and work towards achieving common goals. So he has to be a good communicator to do that. He should be able to convey, persuade and influence his subordinates and followers. This could be done by written or oral communication. So, good leaders have to be good communicators.

Motivational Skills

This is a very important skill which a leader should have. He should be able to motivate his followers.

For example, Gandhi was able to motivate his followers to rise above their selfish interest and die for their country to get independence.

Emotional Skills

Emotional skill is actually a life skill and is something which everybody of us should have, but a leader should have it more than an ordinary person. Emotional skill is to maintain emotional stability and not to be swayed by extremes.

When a group or a team meets with failure, the leader should not be depressed and when it meets with success, not too much excitement should be there. The followers can afford to do this but the leader is expected to maintain stability. When the group is down, the leader gets the group out of depression.

How do we acquire emotional skills?

Psychologists say that escapism should be avoided in life. Escapism means to run away from problems. Escapism is very natural to human beings and all of us practice this on a regular basis, but this should be avoided.

For example, you have an assignment to submit on a particular date. You absent yourself in the class, thinking that the teacher will forget it the next day. But the teacher doesn’t forget it and fails you in your internal. So by running away, you are not finding a solution to the problem. You just find a temporary solution to a permanent problem and this is very natural to human beings.

So psychologists say that whenever you are face a problem of permanent nature, confront the problem and find a solution once and for all.  So if we do this on a regular basis, we are acquiring emotional skills.

  1. 3. X-Factor

After all the research that has gone into finding out the qualities of a leader, researchers say that there is that something which is unknown in a great leader, which cannot be identified or explained but attracts people to it.

The word that explains the x-factor is charisma. Charisma is that something in a person that attracts others to it, which is difficult to explain.

Styles of leadership

What are the styles of approached leadership that you can adopt when you are in a position of leadership?

Authoritarian Style (being bossy and having full authority)

This is the most common and the easiest thing to do. You sit in the chair and decide to be the boss. So this is where you exercise full authority.

Democratic Style

The leader decides to share his authority with his followers. He is willing to discuss things with them and is willing to make his sub-ordinates a part of the decision-making process. So here, we have a shared authority.

Laissez-faire Style

This expression means “hands-off” or free.  This means that the leader keeps his hands off his sub-ordinates or his followers.  He allows them to function the way they want.  This does not mean that he is a weak leader. It means that he knows his followers; he knows they are capable and competent; and therefore he lets them function their own way. So there is minimum authority exercise in the “positive sense”.

Now you may feel that Democratic style is the best style of leadership. But scientist say that any one of the three styles may be the best style according to the person. So there are three factors which determine your style of leadership:

1)      Followers

2)      Situation

3)      The personality of the leader- the personality should be flexible and adaptable for a good leader.

    November 2, 2010 at 7:32 pm


    • November 2, 2010 at 11:49 pm

      I’ll put the rest of the units of OB after the sessionals. For the other subjects, it depends on how much all the students work to provide me with notes. You have to help me with the electronics notes. My email ID is pnt_jjd@hotmail.com. Its also mentioned in the home page of the blog. 🙂

      • Anurag
        November 5, 2010 at 2:43 pm

        i have the sollution of field and waves-d.k.cheng, can i put video lectures?? reply . ar_joshi@hotmail.com

  2. November 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    @anurag…of course you can!! please send it to me as soon as possible. 🙂

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