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What a Leader Needs?


This is a Journal Project on Leadership focusing on the leadership traits and skills. Today, we are living in a world were fierce competition is the order of the day in business circles. In this situation, only leaders who are having good leadership traits and skills can survive. The experiences in life contribute significantly for developing leadership qualities. A good leader has to think and do things differently. In the path of development there may be some obstacles that the leader has to face.

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Week 4 in General

The effectiveness of leadership depends on the skills of the leader. A person who is having almost all the qualities of a good leader can do wonders with the help of his followers. Behind the success of any group activity, there are the elements strong support and guidance of a good leader. If any one is comparing the performance of group with a good leader and a group without a good leader, it is clear that the first group can do things far better than the second group. By a good leader, here it means a leader with essential skills of a model leader.

The effectiveness of the leadership can be improved by practicing and developing skills. (Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy 2006).

Life Experience

My personal experience in a cricket match helped me to understand the role of skills in the effectiveness of leadership. It was a Sunday when the final match of the tournament was to take place. My team was one of the finalists. I was only a team member. For both teams, the match was crucial as it was a question of image and status. Our team batted first and scored a defendable total. But when the opposite team started batting, unfortunately, our fielders began losing the catches sand missing the fields. Finally, the equation was like this: 10 runs required from six balls with 3 wickets remaining. Fortunately, we were having a brilliant captain with good leadership qualities. Before starting the final over he called together all the team members and asked the opinion about who should bowl the final over. He listened to the all other team members. Besides, he also communicated the plan of action to be followed in each ball of the last over. After discussions, he entrusted a medium pace bowler in the team to bowl the final over. He started bowling, but the first ball went for a six. The bowler and other team members became totally disappointed. But the captain inspired and motivated the bowler. He made slight change in the field. That was a good decision, we got two wickets in the second and third ball by way of excellent catches by two fielders. Then the equation became, 4 runs from 3 balls with one wicket remaining. The opposition scored of two runs in the fourth ball. ‘Now it reached a nail biting moment of two runs required from two balls’. The heart beat of the players and spectators became very fast. The captain told all the fielders to move ahead. Fortunately, the fifth ball edged off the bat and the bats man was caught and sent out. We won the mach. I learned so many things from the way our captain led the team. The main reason behind the success was that he was a good listener and communicator besides being a motivator who has the ability to inspire his followers.

Leadership and listening

To be a good leader one should be a good listener. The leader must have the patience to listen to what others say. Some of the important traits that a good listener needs are:

  • “Do not finish the sentences of others.
  • Do not answer questions with questions.
  • Are aware of biases. We all have them. We need to control them.
  • Never daydreams or become preoccupied with their own thoughts when others talk.
  • Let the other speakers talk. Do not dominate the conversations.
  • Plan responses after the others have finished speaking, NOT while they are speaking.” (Communication & leadership 2008).

Leadership and communication

Communication is plays an important role in the success of a leader. Without effective communication there is no meaning for leadership. “Articulation, fluency, language, voice, listening and writing skills, as well as the use of gestures are dynamic elements that enhance the leader.” (Jonie R 2002). Thus it becomes obvious that a good leader should be a good communicator. It is the proper communication which helps a person to impart his ideas and knowledge to others.

Doing things differently

It is one of the essential traits of a good leader. When the same thing is done in a different way, it can give better result. It can lead to new ideas and inventions. “Standing out from the crowd often involves doing things differently. With regard to leadership development, that can involve looking beyond the usual context in order to succeed.” (The act become real: drama study and leadership development).

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The following example of a student who drew a straight line differently will make this apparent. The context was that, once a teacher asked the students to draw a straight line in the black board. Each one of the student came and drew lines in different directions. Among them one student was brilliant who just put a dot on the black board. The teacher asked him where is straight line? He replied that “I have drawn straight line only, but the other side is inside the board. Here we can see only one end of the line.” The teacher and other students were excited and they appreciated him. A good leader should think and do the things in this way. “Create a work environment that gives people a sense of purpose and appeals to their deeper values and they will perform to levels you could never achieve with pure economic motivation.” (Leadership lessons from the Olympics 2009).


There are so many obstacles that a leader has to face on his way to growth and development. The main obstacles include lack of support from superiors, peers and followers, lack of technical support, absence of proper delegation of tasks…etc. And also the leaders have to overcome other personal as well as organizational barriers. Personal barriers include lack of clear cut goals, unawareness of the strengths and weakness of themselves, lack of co-operation, absence of positive thinking…etc (Self-Imposed Barriers). (Hesselbein 2007).

Organizational barriers include unscientific structure of staff positioning, the attitude of the organisation which does not consider the value of the leaders, ambiguity in policy and operation…etc. (Institutional Barriers). (Hesselbein 2007). To be a good leader on has to do maximum efforts to overcome these obstacles by way of finding out and implementing solutions for eliminating these barriers.


Communication & leadership: active listening 2008, Web.

Hesselbein, Frances 2007, Leader to leader journal barriers to leadership, Leader to Leader Institute, Web.

Hughes, R L., Ginnett, R C., & Curphy, C J 2006, Leadership: enhancing the lessons of experience (6th ed.), Baston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. (Provided by the Customer).

Jonie R, Rolle 2002, The role of communication in effective leadership: abstract, ERIC: Educational Resources Information Centre, Web.

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Leadership lessons from the Olympics 2009, Caterer Search, Web.

The act become real: drama study and leadership development: findings, Emerald, 2009. Web.

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