Throughout my collegiate career, I have been blessed with the opportunity of being in the presence of exceptional and effective leaders. From these experiences, I have found that, in order to be an effective leader, it is essential for a person to be able to communicate and he/she must be humble. One might question how these two seemingly different characteristics or qualities relate to being a leader, but you must note that without these two qualities effective leadership is lost.
Communication is everything. Without it, nothing would be accomplished. Because of this, it is vital that anyone assuming a leadership role be able to clearly state the objectives of the group. Whether it be a top executive guiding his subordinates or a coach directing his/her team, he/she must possess the ability spell out the intentions of the group to make certain that everyone is on the same page so that there is no ambiguity. An effective leader in any discipline knows what to say to motivate his group, but even more importantly, he/she knows how to say it. A leader knows to direct firmly, but also fairly and compassionately to achieve the preferred outcome.
This fair and compassionate tone of a leader provides segue into the second essential quality of humbleness. An effective leader will humble himself/herself upon the group letting them know that he/she is only as good as the group itself. Thus, this leader respects the opinions and/or abilities of the group or team. A humble leader will praise the group or team when they succeed. Consequently, this same leader not only will take responsibility when they fail, but reevaluate and find a way to succeed.
Acquiring these qualities is a task that takes time. It takes experience. Knowing this, I try to position myself in leadership roles where these qualities can most certainly be used. No matter if it is in the classroom or on the athletic field, if the opportunity arises for me to be a leader, I seize it.