The leader (leadership) plays decisive role in change process because they are always in front seat of change process that can navigate the change process in right direction or in left (wrong) direction. The leader/leadership can make change happened in negative way or in positive way. They can make change exciting or demoralizing, vital or unnecessary, easy or difficult (David Dinwodie, William Pasmore, Laura Quinn and Ron Robin) Thus success of whole change process depends on how effective is the leadership that is leading the change. In other word, qualities and characters that the leadership poses will effects of change. And ‘the effects of change are felt up, down and around organization.’ (David Dinwodie, William Pasmore, Laura Quinn and Ron Robin)
John C Maxwell in his popular book ‘The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader’ has figure out 21 qualities that the leader have to have in their character. In regards to change management, let’s look at those 21 qualities of leader according to John C Maxwell and how it can help to improve leadership skill in change management.
- Character: Be a piece of rock
First quality of a leader is Character. There are four fundamental points what must every leader to know about character is:
- Character is more than talk. Any leader can claim that he has integrity but real indicator of their character is their action.
- Talent is gift but character is choice
- Character brings lasting success with people: employees do not follow a leader whose character is flaw and weak.
- Leaders can not rise above the limitation of character
And to improve the character, Maxwell suggest following action:
- Search for the cracks
- Look for the patterns
- Face the music and
- Charisma: First Impression can seal the deal
Having a charismatic personality is another qualities of a leader. As it is said that first impression is last impression. Charismatic persona makes other to attract towards you. Every known great leader has quality to attract towards them. But the fact is that every one may not be born with this charisma. If leader is not naturally attracted or not well liked, according to Maxwell, those leaders may have possess one of following roadblocks to charisma:
To improve this quality of charisma, a leader can do following things
- Change your focus
- Play the first impression game
- Share your shelf
- Commitment: It separates doers from dreamers
Commitment is another indispensable quality of leader. What actually is commitment? According to Maxwell, commitment always starts in hearts and tested by the action and commitment open the doors for achievement. To improve commitment, leader should do:
- Measuring it.
- Know what’s worth dying for.
- Use the Edison method.
- Communication: without it you travel alone
Communication is very important, especially when you are leading whole organization in new direction or driving through new ways to reach destination. Effective communication can be made if a communicator follows following things:
- Simplify your message
- See the person
- Show the truth
- Seek a response
Also Maxwell suggests that communication can be improved with being clear as bell, refocusing your attention and making live your message.
- Competence: If you built it, they will come
“Competence goes beyond the words. It is the leaders ability to say it, plan it and do it in such a way that others know that you know how and know that they want to follow you” – Maxwell.
To built competence, what a leader need to do are as followings;
- Show up everyday
- Keep improving
- Follow through with excellence
- Accomplish more than expected
- Courage: One person with courage is a Majority
When a leader approach to tough decision, one must know following truth about the courage
- Courage begins with a Inward battle
- Courage is Making thins Right, Not just smoothing them over
- Courage in a Leader Inspires commitment to your courage
- Discernment: Put an End to Unsolved Mysteries
Discernment is about the ability to find out the root of matter, which relies on intuition as well as rational thoughts. It is another dispensable quality that a leader should possess who desires to maximize effectiveness. It helps to do several important things like;
- Discover the Roots of issues
- Enhance Your problem solving
- Evaluate Your option for maximum Impact
- Multiple your opportunities
- Focus: The sharper it is, Sharper you are
Being focus in time and energy is another quality of a leader. To be focused on time and energy, Maxwell suggests these guidelines,
- Focus 70% on Strengths
- Focus 25% on New Things
- Focus 5% on Areas of Weakness
Also to improve focus, one must shift their focus on strength, staff the weakness and create the edge.
- Generosity: Your candle Loses Nothing When it Lights Another
- Initiative: You Won’t leave Without it
Being leader, Imitativeness another indispensable attributes. There are at least four qualities leaders posses that enable them to make things happen.
- They know what they want
- They Push themselves to Act
- They Takes More Risks
- They Make More Mistakes
- Listening: To connect with their Hearts, Use Your Ears
A good listener is always a good learner and a good leader always listens. Listening has mainly two purposes: to connect with people and to learn. So, as a leader you should keep your ear open to these people.
- Your follower
- Your Customers
- Your Competitors
- Your Mentors
- Passion: Take This and Love it
Why should be a leader passionate? Here are four truth about passion which justify why a leader should posses quality of passion.
- Passion is the first step to achievement.
- Passion increases your Willpower
- Passion changes you
- Passion makes the Impossible Possible
- Positive Attitude: If You Believe You Can, You Can
Positive attitude brings your surrounding positive atmosphere. In other word your positive attitude influence your followers in positive manner. Knowing following things about positive attitude will help to build positive attitude.
- Your attitude is your choice
- Your attitude determines your action
- Your people are the mirror of your attitude
- Maintaining a good attitude is easier than regaining
- Problem Solving: You can’t Let you Problem Be a Problem
Problem solving capacity is another vital quality of a leader. A leader with effective problem-solving demonstrate five qualities:
- They anticipates problems
- They anticipates the truth
- They see the big picture
- They handle one thing at a time
- They don’t give up a major goal when they are down
- Relationship: If you get along, they will go along
To improve relationship with the people/employee, as leader, one must have three requisites:
- Have a leader’s head – Understand the people/employees
- Have a Leader’s Heart – Love people/employee
- Extend a leader’s hand – Help People/ employee
- Responsibility: If you don’t carry the ball, You can’t lead the team
One of the most important qualities of a leader is being responsible. A responsible leader always gets all necessary jobs done regardless of conditions. They demonstrate their responsibility by not only getting work done but also they are eager to run extra mile with excellence.
- Security: Competence Never compensate for Insecurity
A leader with competence should not be insecure. Being confident and secured is another qualities of being leader. Or in other word, a leader should not be insecure. Insecure leader only make their followers insecure rather providing security. This could jeopardize organizational interest because such insecure leader always limits their best people and organization.
As John Maxwell said “First person to lead is you”; leadership starts from self-discipline. Leaders who is self-disciplined follows some action points, which are as below:
- They develop and follow their priorities
- They make disciplined lifestyle on their goal
- They challenge excuses
- They don’t think too much for rewards until work is done
Serventhood is another qualities of a true leader, who always puts others ahead of his own agenda and possess confidence of serve other.
Leader should BE teachable, in other sense who always eager to learn.
True leaders are visionary. They are able to draw clear roadmap for tomorrow.
After studying, evaluating all of above mention qualities of a leader according to John Maxwell and with reference of different opinions of different writer, if all of qualities are blended and combined in shorten-form, the word LEADERSHIP can be presented as an abbreviate acronym. Thus full form of term LEADERSHIP in order to qualities of leader is presented as below;
L: Listener, Leading ability
E: Enthusiastic, Energetic, And Exemplary
A: Ambitious, align (alignment), Able (ability)
D: Decisive, driven, democratic, decision maker
E: Experienced, Effective, And Ethical
R: Responsible, Relationship, Risk-taker (courageous)
S: Security (not insecure), supportive, strategic
H: Honest, holistic approach
I: Influential (Charisma), Integrity, and Innovative
P: Passion, Positive (Optimistic), Planner, and Polite