“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people” – quoted the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. The foresight and wisdom of a man who at 151 years still rings true to the modern world. It is but, fitting that we understand and learn from our predecessors and pass on good human values and create good leaders in our youth of today.

What does it take to be a good leader? Good looks and power may be voted as the top preferred qualities to take a place up there. The 21st Century looks for leaders who are empathetic, appreciative, supportive and goal-oriented. As James Maxwell once said, “Leaders become great not because of their powers but, because of their ability to empower others”

Characteristics of a Successful leader:

  • Sets a good example: A good leader is one who displays positive qualities and is not afraid of making mistakes and working hard for the benefit of everyone. Such leaders are more approachable and successful in life.
  • Encourages team activities: A leader is one who encourages rather than discourages team building. He/she supports the team and guides them along.
  • Inspires others: Inspiration spreads positivity. A leader who has the capability to instil good values in the team makes future leaders in the long-run.
  • A good communicator: “Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess”, said Richard Branson which holds true for every leader of the world.
  • Creates more leaders: As Brian Tracy puts it, “Leadership is the ability to get extraordinary achievement from ordinary people” Identifying potential leaders for the future remains a necessity and selflessly passing on knowledge marks a true leader.

The 21st Century is the call for good and effective leaders. It doesn’t take long to identify a leader from amongst a group. I remember entering my class on the first day of the academic year. The new class automatically identified its leader. She began to help the teacher with the attendance as well as assist in other class duties such as monitoring the class. Leaders have few things in common. They have the ability to inspire and motivate others. But it takes more than just inspiration and motivation. The leader must be charismatic as well as open to representing the team. Potential leaders that are groomed and with training and encouragement, will be able to become better and effective leaders of the future.   

– Annabel Rebello