Common Traits of Leaders
Leadership is understood as the social influence one has on a group, which aids them to derive support of the others. As a result, there are a number of general traits or characteristics, which define leaders in general. Indeed, leaders have personal traits like honesty, integrity, self-confidence and intelligence that towers above the non-leaders (Kirkpatrick & Locke 1991). These traits are classified into physical, emotional, social, intellectual, communication, trustworthy, and experience characteristics. Often than not, leaders have greater social abilities too. The abilities can be personal abilities to do things or social abilities to interact. According to Stogdill (1948), leaders exceed the followers in social responsibility and their socio-economic abilities too.
A leader should exude physical superiority since tasks that come with the position might be rather demanding. Leaders should also be able to handle stress and emotional issues appropriately. The intelligence level of a leader should also be outstanding from that of the led since they must be trusted with even the minute and sensitive details and have a vast experience in the area they lead the others.
Common Behaviors of Leaders
There are a number of behaviors, which are generally exhibited by good leaders.
These traits include the ability of a leader to set a generally accepted mode of behavior among people they lead. Since leaders are role models, they tend to influence the code of conduct of the led; therefore, good behavior enhances ethical and excellent way in which others conduct themselves.
Leaders should also set perspectives and goals and enhance their team to achieve and even beat them.
Since communication is a vital matter for the development of many things, leaders should also be effective and efficient in communication. This is because most decision-making processes and consultations are channeled to him.
Leaders are also relied on to determine which developmental needs their team has and help them access these needs. Encouragement and moral support are also important elements in a productive working environment. It is therefore a leader’s responsibility to provide or enhance provision of these virtues to their teams.
Challenges Faced by Women and Minority Leaders
Women have been in the forefront in bringing change in history. According to Schein (1989), women fostered peace while increasing equality in the society too. Women and minority leaders experience many challenges in their leadership platform. Some of the challenges include the lack or inadequacy of the grassroots support from their teams. This might be attributed to the reluctance of the team members to put their faith in the leaders. It may also be attributed to the suspicion the team has in their decision-making as well as chauvinism.
These challenges can, however, be dealt with by conducting social education in academic institutions and other public places which will help people appreciate the presence and positive effects of women and minority leaders (Sczesny et al., 2004).
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