This is topic Being a good leader in forum General Comments at The Ornery American Forum.

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Posted by PeterWiggin (Member # 2208) on :
Now, I'm creating this topic more for my own self growth. When I say leader, I don't meant President, or Senator, or anything like that. I'm talking a leader of people in general, no matter how small the group.

What sort of qualities and ideas must one learn to become a good leader? One that comes to my mind first is to make everybody happy. But that's cliche, because its impossible to do that, it's impossible to make everybody happy, so where does one draw the line?

And I am aware that perfection is impossible, but what sort of face does a leader need to present to his people? Military officers are strict and forceful so that they earn respect, but a teacher who's the leader of a Civil Rights group is more compassionate. I understand that these are two different situations and each situation calls for a different leader, but in general what do people look for in somebody.
Posted by WarrsawPact (Member # 1275) on :
A leader isn't there to make everyone happy. He's there to make sure things work. If he doesn't uphold a contract, or meet his obligations, he's done his job wrong. I will accept a total jerkoff or a soft-spoken angel as long as they get the job done right. There are tons of different styles for accomplishing this.

Some leaders make you want to do what they want becuase you genuinely believe in what they stand for. Others inspire through intense infighting and pure cold will, toying with order and disorder as they see fit to manage things properly.

You cannot fit a leader into a cookie-cutter mold, but people who tend not to have heart attacks on the job and who tend to not let their agendas self-destruct are those who don't take criticism personally and genuinely enjoy being in their position.
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
Remember what is important. People are important.

As much as you demand of others, the people who follow you need to see that you demand as much and more of yourself.

Respect goes both ways. Give respect and you will get respect.

Don't shy from being the bad cop. Have the compassion to use a hot iron to cauterise a wound.

And remember what is important. People are important.
Posted by PeterWiggin (Member # 2208) on :
Should a leader be ambitious and confident? or should it all come naturally?
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
A leader simply needs two things: a direction, and the desire to make it happen.

To be sure, there are other things that will help him, like people skills, knowledge of the area he is interested in, etc... But the above first two things I mentioned are paramount.

Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
Ed's right about the two key things that a leader must have.

For the rest of it, it doesn't have to come naturally. You can fake the rest of the things that people expect in a leader, like being outgoing or forceful or energetic.

Remember "leader" is not the same thing as "administrator" or "manager." You don't have to be in charge of people to be a good leader. You just have to be able to get cooperation from others in working toward your goal.
Posted by Ikemook (Member # 1519) on :
To quote my RLC (regional life coordinator) during my RA mandatory inservice:

Integrity. Knowing what you believe, and standing for it. Integrity is rather useful, in that it encompasses honesty, truthfulness, etc, into one nice little package.

Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
EDanall wrote
A leader simply needs two things: a direction, and the desire to make it happen
That can be a tyrant, who is also a leader. But a GOOD leader is what was originally mentioned.

A good leader, to me, has a direction and a desire, but (s)he also must care about the direction more than about herself. If stepping down, or admitting mistakes, will further the goal at her personal expense, she will do it in a heartbeat. I think ambitious people often lack this quality, but unfortunately ambition seems to be a prerequisite for leaders now, both corporate and political.

[ December 20, 2004, 05:44 PM: Message edited by: velcro ]
Posted by Daruma28 (Member # 1388) on :
Just my $.02: One absolutely vital key is to lead by example and avoid "Do as I say, not as I do" at all costs.

Just one example: if you emphasize punctuality, you better be punctual yourself.

[ December 20, 2004, 05:25 PM: Message edited by: Daruma28 ]

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