A true leader not only demands respect, but has the necessary leadership traits to command it. Negative qualities, such as harshness and verbal abusiveness may exact compliance from members of the group, but it will be most likely out of fear, rather than dedication to the cause, or project, at hand. An employee may be left to think that if he didn't need this job to pay his rent, he would terminate his association with that employer immediately. On a certain dance reality show, the proprietor, who is known for being mean, may have the right to rule her studio with a rod of iron, but the important question to explore is if she will have a studio ten years from now if she continues to run her site in that manner,even given that her methods yield results.
Indeed, being firm yet gentle may go far to strengthen morale in that studio. Besides that there are other character traits that can serve to strengthen communication between leaders and subordinates, yielding positive results.
Any discussion of leadership traits should begin in a discourse about vision. In order to be a leader, an individual must have a vivid picture of where he wants to take his organization. The person must not have a firm definition of success, but must know how he intends to achieve it.
A person of true vision is able to communicate with the other members of his organization the nature of his picture of the organization after such a plan is implemented both on paper and verbally. He must be able to persauade members of his team that it is the best goal to be achieved, for the benefit of both the group and the people it serves, and why.
Let's use a non-profit organization for the homeless as an example. Let us say that the executive director wants to raise funds for the group by holding a banquet. She first has to truly believe that it's the best fundraiser for the group, and that she is capable of making it happen. She must have the facts and figures to prove that it can be successful, and that the site manager will agree to it.
Additionally, she must speak of the project with a certain amount of passion. She must be able to convincingly remind all of the members of the group--including the board--of the members of the community who are ultimately being helped by this fundraiser, and why it would be to their advantage to help them. She must be able to inspire everyone to become excited about the project, that she has thought the entire project through, and that it is feasible.
A true leader must possess integrity. A person who truly understands the principle of integrity knows that he communicates to his group not only by what he tells his subordinates to do or not to do, but also by what he does or refrains from doing himself, according to what is right or wrong. For example, it is not enough for a manager to fire an employee--or threaten to do so--for using the Internet to...