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7 qualities of highly effective leaders


MY love for leadership was sparked when I read the book 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell. That is when I began to see the true essence of a great leader.


The book helped me to see different types of leaders and their effectiveness. Most people we call leaders are at times not true leaders. Some are power hungry individuals seeking personal ambitions and fame.

As the Zimbabwe election approaches, we need to choose decisively. The future of our country is as big as our leader is. As it has been said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”

This should be our time to rethink, reconsider, review, and then choose the person who will see our country rise again. Yes, there are more great qualities in leaders, but I chose explore seven for the purposes of this article.

Leaders love people

This is what sets a difference between leadership and management or any other forms of leadership such a kleptocracy, autocracy.

People are led and equipment or systems are managed. A great leader cares about people he leads. This makes people buy into his vision without being coerced. The power of love is that the leader is also able to grow other leaders that will continue the vision.

Leaders love progress

A great leader grows other leaders. By so doing results are multiplied. The leader has to grow personally. Where there is no growth there is no life. Personal growth and people growth leads to institutional growth.

Progress usually comes with change and change needs the leaders who are a life-long learner. Learning makes the leaders to be progressive and relevant.

Leaders master team dynamics

A good leader has personal achievements and a great leader has team achievements. Willy Amos has a great acronym that every leader should stick in their office. It’s from the word ‘team’. T– Together. E– Everyone. A– Achieves. M– More.

Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

Leaders influence others

At times a leader does not force people to do a task, but people that are led should feel obligated to produce even in the absence of a leader.

A great leader makes his vision clear to others and leads people to buy into his vision. Furthermore, the leader has to influence others to grow their leadership repertoire.

Such leaders also inspire others and encourage them. A Chinese proverb says, “He who sayeth he’s leading yet hath no one behind him is only taking a walk”. That’s the frank truth that most people, especially managers fail to acknowledge.

Take stoke of that and start to lead using influence!

Leaders See

A leader has to have prophetic insight and begin to work towards that. This makes the leader be on a better stand to adjust priorities and plan for the future. When danger is approaching, it’s the leader who should anticipate that before followers. When a great opportunity is approaching, a great leader should create capacity in others and himself to handle it.

Leaders don’t rest on their laurels

Past achievements are at times the greatest enemy of future achievements. Most people stop and bask in their previous victories forgetting that the future has more to offer than we have seen. John Maxwell in his book The 21 Indispensible Qualities Of A Leader says, “…If what you did yesterday still looks big to you, you haven’t done much today”.

Leaders have a strong and good character

Good character is like glue that sticks together all pieces in the puzzle of leadership. Talents and gifts can take a person up the ladder, but its good character that keeps him up at the top.

Parting Point: A great leader is a person who acknowledges that leadership is not a one-day stroke, but a daily process of learning and unlearning. It is also the ability to influence people to work towards a common goal.

lJonah Nyoni is an author, success coach and certified leadership/business trainer. He is the author of Inspiration for Success and Success Within Reach. Contact details: Tel: 0772 581 918. Email: jonah@classicmail.co.za. Twitter@jonahnyoni.

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