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If a team wants to achieve a goal, one important and necessary component is to have a strong and effective leader. Without a capable leader, a team is likely to crumble and fall. Good leadership as a whole is a rather intangible concept. However, a variety of tangible qualities and traits are generally expected out of leaders.
One tangible quality of a good leader is that of dedication. A leader is willing to put in the time, blood, sweat and tears to accomplish a task. A leader is usually the first person to show up to work and the last one to leave, without complaint. You never see a true leader looking bored or uninterested, or rushing through a job. A leader devotes all of his energy and time to the goal at hand.
Leaders are courageous and are unafraid to take risks to improve a situation and get closer to a goal. It takes an immense amount of guts to be able to organize and put together a competent team. Leaders understand that without making a change — perhaps a risky one — things are never able to change, including for the better.
Leaders are able to back up their words with their own skills and ability. Competence is vital to be a successful leader. True leaders are aware that to set a positive example for the team, it's necessary to possess the required strong skills themselves. To lead effectively, it also is beneficial to be a fast learner of skills, as well as a fast teacher who can relay the new information to the rest of the team.
Good imagination and creativity are both key principles behind leadership. To be a leader, it's necessary to be able to think quickly and in an innovative manner when it comes to developing and executing new solutions, ideas and goals regarding problems.
Strong optimism is also essential for being a good leader. The leader is basically responsible for the rest of the team's morale and attitude. A leader needs the ability to pump up, excite and motivate the team. A negative outlook is an absolute "no-no" in leadership. If a leader exudes an authentic air of positivity and enthusiasm, the rest of the team will follow suit.
Calmness is another tangible leadership trait. Leaders need to remain cool, calm and collected at all times. Being a leader involves a lot of hard work, and that includes setbacks and tough situations. It's important for leaders to be able to set good examples to their teammates by never losing their cool and blowing up. A good leader knows fully well that angry outbursts and uncontrolled emotions don't get anyone anywhere — certainly no closer to achieving a goal.
Lars Tramilton has been writing professionally since 2007. His work has appeared in a variety of online publications, including CareerWorkstation. Tramilton received a bachelor's degree with a focus on elementary education from Kean University.