General Qualities of Leadership
“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” So Colin Luther Powell, an American statesman, retired four-star general in the United States Army, and great leader, stated one day. That is just the way it is: In life some people are cut out to be leaders and some are not. In general, it is nothing but how a person presents himself in front of a society. If a human wants to hold sway over a group of people in a community, he should have three necessary qualities: bravery, perseverance, and integrity.
One of the most admirable leaders is Nelson Mandela who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first black South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. He produced his success with conspicuous gallantry and courage against the enemy. Therefore, Nelson Mandela achieved his goals with fortitude, will, and intrepidity, which are the leadership abilities to confront fear, pain, risk and danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Even if it were not that easy at all, he never would have surrendered himself. Instead of giving up, his theory consisted of fighting for aims.
Another well-known leader was Hitler, who was an Austrian-born German politician and head of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly known as the Nazi Party. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and served as Führer from 1934 to 1945. His main claim to fame was first of all his perseverance which means holding to a course or action, belief, or purpose without giving way. Hitler earned his reputation as stubborn leader especially because of assertiveness and endurance. Although people detested him, Hitler used to be a dynamic speaker and he moved people emotionally. Compliance was required or it would be certain death. This is why everybody listened to the commands of their hateful leader without necessarily agreeing with him.
The last characteristic of a leader is integrity which involves the rigid adherence to a code of behavior. Also, integrity is regarded as the quality of having an intuitive sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one's actions. Angela Merkel who is the current Chancellor of Germany demonstrates an exemplary representation of integrity because she had a set of ideas that she adhered to for decades. Merkel, elected to the Bundestag (German Parliament) from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 10 April 2000, and Chairman of the CDU-CSU (Christian Social Union) parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005. Her seriousness and ability to represent herself in front of people made it possible for her to be elected as head of Germany. The society depends on her because Merkel knows how to give a great account of herself.
The above people demonstrate differing qualities of leadership that are promising to be successful and effective. Assuming control over a specific group requires the three given attributes: bravery, perseverance, and integrity. Even a bad person can have strong leadership qualities that let other people follow him. A mixture of all named characteristics makes a leader what he is and what he stands for. Only after a person has fulfilled all essential traits, one is able to exemplify a “Great Leader”.
By Kim Mertens