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Qualities of a Great Manager and a Leader

Updated on July 4, 2015

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.

— Napoleon Hill

What is it in children that makes us love them:their innocence. Or that which causes us to respect our elders:their Experience. Well I am speaking about the many wonderful qualities that we all come across around the people in our lives. It is just these qualities when combined together that transform an individual to a leader. I have listed twenty-one qualities that I could think of. Have a look and add in your own to the list. You can put your suggestions in the comments section at the end of the article. I will make sure that your suggestions are listed too.

Teamwork | Source

Being a good Team player

There are few individuals who are exceptional and can succeed at their own but for the rest, we ought to have this skill in us.There are many benefits of possessing this quality like :

  • Firstly, we can hardly ignore the fact that Together Everyone Achieves More.
  • Leaders emerge only in team scenarios.
  • Since we are accountable to the team, there is no room for complacency.
  • Working in a team broadens our horizons as we encounter new viewpoints something that we, individually, would never have thought of.
  • The outcome of the project gets multiplied while the efforts are divided(Lesser load means less stress, too.)
  • The team becomes a single unit ; there is no Mr.A, Mr.B or Mr.C in it. This instills camaraderie between the teammates.
  • But at the same time, nobody wants to stay behind in the race for success,name,fame and glory. Healthy competition leads to motivated individuals.

We achieve more than I can achieve!
We achieve more than I can achieve! | Source

However, if even one of the members of the team is uncomfortable working in a team or starts placing more priority to his personal goals, it either adds extra burden on the rest or leads to conflicts,confusions and all sorts of trouble for the team as a whole.

Infuse positivity around you
Infuse positivity around you | Source
Smile and everyone smiles along with you
Smile and everyone smiles along with you | Source

A good sense of Humour and Cheerful nature

Spread the smiles..People would always love to have you around them.

Well, would you prefer to spend a day with a Cheerful person or a gloomy one?

I agree that not all people have this talent of making people laugh but the least we can do is to refrain from spreading panic/melancholy around.

Be the yellow one and see the change..

Flair for Communication

Well the biggest advantage with this quality is it can be developed and there are absolutely no upper limits. You yourself set the bar!

Looking at the verbal side, not everyone has the gift of the gab right from birth. In fact, there are a number of people who have overcome their stammering and turned out to be wonderful orators.To name a few: the Greek orator Demosthenes,Sir Winston Churchill and the list goes on.Then we have written communication and lastly, but the most prominent way of communication: the non-verbal signals that we send.

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Another important skill associated with communication is the art of Listening.There are only 4 possible combinations while in a conversation:

  1. You go on speaking your mind, others listen.
  2. You both respond.(i.e. speak and listen taking turns.) .
  3. Both speak.
  4. Both be mum.

There is only one optimal situation that can add satisfaction in the conversation and that's quite obvious, isn't it?

I would not go deep into the way one can communicate because there is a lot already on the subject. Rather, I would list down a few reasons for why communication is important and what are the common impediments in the same:

  • Telepathy is not possible, so you cannot expect others to understand your thoughts without expressing them via your words or actions!
  • If you send ambiguous messages, confusions are bound to happen.So having clarity in communication is always beneficial for both the entities.
  • When you know that you can convey your ideas easily, it reflects as confidence in your personality.
  • Your ideas do not vanish into thin air. At least you get a means to share them.

These might be some common causes of miscommunication :

  • Prejudices and stereotypes in our mind.
  • Language issues.
  • Use of ambiguous words or jargon(Technical words specific to a profession).You should not cause people to open a dictionary while you are speaking, however knowledgeable you are!
  • Lack of interest in the discussion.

Being Proactive brings you closer to Success!
Being Proactive brings you closer to Success! | Source


Have you observed this one common quality in most of the successful people?

Yes, successful people are go-getters and do not wait for things to happen. Well, this might seem contradicting with another important quality which is Patience. Passivity is not patience. You have to first act and then wait, and not the other way round. Patience and proactiveness go hand-in-hand, don't they?

What is it that proactiveness brings along with it?

  • You learn to grab opportunities and avoid repenting later.
  • It indicates clearly that you are interested in your activity.
  • Misunderstandings do not occur since you have a habit of clearing all your doubts on the spot and gathering all required information.
  • This is the trait of a leader. You be the change rather than being changed.
  • You become a strong competitor to your peers because you work and improve even during good times.

Being modest

Just imagine that a person has everything that it takes to be a Success, and still very few people to support him and to rejoice in his success. Can you think of any reason for the same?

My opinion would be the person gives too much importance to his own success: He lacks humility.

The team deserves the credit even if you have been the leader just because you could not have done it all alone!

Why is it important to be humble? Well, the benefits are many:

  • You earn respect.
  • People won't think twice before lending you a helping hand.
  • You become open and receptive to others' ideas.(That's definitely a good thing, isn't it?)
  • Your progress will be accepted wholeheartedly by your peers leaving no room for insecurity.


Embracing Change

Change is inevitable. Change is natural. The moment you are born, the life of your parents changes. You grow, make friends and their life changes. You get married; the life of your spouse changes. You grow old and finally leave the world, the lives of people dependent on you change.

And most importantly, in each of these stages, you yourself change. There are a lot of processes happening in our body everyday producing new cells and destroying the older ones and so on.You need a new breath to continue your life every single instant.

Life is never the same except when you do not wish to grow. By grow, I mean grow in your potential,your abilities,your knowledge and not in age.

If we resist change there is bound to be friction in our lives. We must be flexible in our lives and be ready to adapt ourselves based on the need of the hour.

Even in decisions we have to be ready with alternatives. If plan A fails there have to be many other alternative plans as a backup. You cannot rely on one single plan and wait for wonders to happen with it. Life is unpredictable after all.

What does this add to?

  • You become more aware about everything else.
  • You learn how to handle many different situations with ease.
  • You see things with multiple set of viewpoints.Your vision becomes broader.
  • You be happy and stay happy.


A very important (some might argue as the most important) quality! Without this, no matter how gifted you are, you will hardly get a good night's sleep because of the many secrets that you have to conceal.

If you have Integrity, you automatically possess Truthfulness and Frankness of opinion.

What are the perks of being a person with Integrity?

  • Peace of mind!
  • You can be yourself, without getting concerned about being ridiculed at.
  • You are trusted by others to do tasks which are important since they know that you are honest in your dealings and act responsibly.
  • Reputation comes with Integrity.

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Courage to follow one's conscience

  • Our conscience is our best friend, the perfect adviser to us, in every decision that we need to take in our lives.The only reason that leads us to repent is when we go against our conscience.When we think more about the immediate benefits or unpleasant consequences of a situation, we are repeatedly pricked by our conscience and finally when it surrenders, we tend to give in to our greed/fears.
  • Finally when we continuously avoid its advice, it becomes a mute spectator to all our blunders.It is practically not possible to be conscious always but what I feel is we should try to follow our inner voice as often as possible.
  • That will ensure that our success will be our own and even if questioned by someone, we can answer them with firm conviction and come out unscathed.


Some people find it difficult to say 'No'.They keep on accepting everybody's requests and offers finally finding it impossible to manage all simultaneously. I am one of them.But, I have improved a lot now.

Many others, in spite of doing all the hard work themselves, let their seniors or authoritative persons shine in the limelight without even uttering a word against them for fear of being fired.

This is fine within limits but if it happens every now and then, we can't and ought not to refrain from speaking up. At such times being Assertive helps. Mind you, there is a difference between being Assertive and being aggressive.

What being a too-nice-to-say-no attitude does to you?

  • People take you for granted. (Just think about your self-esteem!!)
  • Your opinions would be heard only when something can be done by no one else but you.
  • It is difficult to fulfill all the promises that you make when you are that good!.
  • It amounts to a lot of stress thereby reducing your efficiency and detaching more people from you.

A sense of Respect towards Time

How exciting it would have been, if we could choose the number of hours in a day or the number of years in our life!...

Unfortunately, this is not possible and we have to make do with whatever we have with us.That's the reason why Time has to be respected. A person who lives for about 60 years, has over 22 million minutes to make use of starting from adulthood! Who loves to have deadlines! At least I do not but when I saw the above figures, I realised that without deadlines we would be forever stuck at only one job, isn't it?

How does managing your time help?

  • You can Focus better when you have time.
  • You get satisfied about the quality of a project when it is done on/before time.
  • Can heave a sense of relief and Relax later!
  • Your productivity improves since you do more work in a given period.
  • Nobody likes to wait for untimely people, not even opportunities.
  • Procrastination either leads to work not done or haphazardly done.
  • You plan only when you need to get something done on time(i.e. You learn Planning)
  • You leave a positive impression on people when you reach on time for your meetings.

And many more....

Hunger to learn / Inquisitiveness

Do mosquitoes breed in flowing water?Or do they breed in stagnant water?

Similarly, should you be satisfied with whatever you know? Our knowledge too, when stagnated breeds the mosquito of never stop learning..that would see to it that you do not allow your ego to develop.

And yes, think, pair and share..(this is something which our ma'am used to say while teaching us).Share your knowledge or else it will be buried with you and would be useless.

Ask questions because that's the secret to extract what others know and that's how you grow.

Empathise and Motivate the team!

Everyone wants someone who would listen to them and understand their emotions.This quality is very much sought out, if not consciously then subconsciously.

In what ways does Empathy help?

  • It immediately creates a bond between you and the other person.
  • You become important to the other person.
  • When you can perceive what the other person wants, you can act accordingly.
  • You are seen as someone who is caring and independent ;(this means you will be sought out for advice and satisfied peers may even refer you for the same.)
  • Peace can be achieved where there is empathy(according to Barack Obama).

Having a Positive Outlook

You see yourself , exactly as you are, in the mirror. If you dress up like someone else, you will look like, that someone else.This is true with people, too. Their reaction is a reflection of your action. They behave according to the trigger that you provide to them. If you are confident, the confidence passes on to the team as well. Success is not far from a highly motivated team. Unpleasant situations will have to be faced no matter how much we avoid them. How you act when you meet unpleasant people or situations is your choice!

Be positive and experience the power it provides to enjoy happy moments and face difficult times.

A Helpful nature or Approachability

Isn't there a person in your life who shares all your stress, all your grief and yet remains unaffected on the exterior? It might be your mom, dad or anybody else you know. The point I am trying to make here is:There is a lot of demand for the ones who are ready to help. So, why not be one?

The helpful act results in many wonderful consequences:

  • Firstly, it makes life a lot more easier for the receiver.
  • Improves self-esteem and dependability of the considerate one.
  • That's how many long-lasting relationships or friendships are formed!
  • The positivity spreads and inspires others too, to follow your path.(You set an example for others.)
  • It opens up new facets of your personality and finally as the popular proverb goes:

One good turn deserves another

You never know when you yourself might be on the receiving side and those very people whom you did a favor turn up for you! (although the chances are slim nowadays, that should not stop you from being good).

Focus and dedication => Commitment

Commitment is the combination of focus and dedication according to me. A man is only as good as his word is one popular saying. This not only applies to work but also to people.

What difference would commitment make in one's life?

  • If you do what you say then you ought to be trusted.
  • It indicates that you hold yourself responsible for your words and deeds.
  • You give your best when you are committed, success will follow.
  • It automatically becomes a habit and you learn committing to relationships.
  • Happiness in both work and relationships is an enviable combo!


Ambition / Drive / Will power

How do these traits help you?

  • You learn more about your strengths and limitations.
  • You become better than before.
  • You automatically learn to ignore small grievances when you see the larger picture and look for something higher.
  • Only ambition will not help, the will power to face challenges and move ahead must also be there.

Imagination and Problem Solving abilities

Just two quotes to bring across my point:

Everything you can imagine is real.

— Pablo Picasso

Pragmatism and foresight

What is the use of putting in efforts in the wrong direction and hoping to get the desired results?

We need to think practically about our decisions.

i.e.Ask questions to ourselves:

  • Am I going in the right direction?
  • Is this going to benefit anyone?
  • What might be the possible outcomes of my decision?
  • Is this practically possible and if yes, cost-effective?

There is meticulous planning involved in any successful business. Inventions may be accidental but innovation is not. Foresight is required on how people will respond and for that reason surveys are done, data is collected, analysed and finally the decisions are done.

Not only this, there are numerous other scenarios in daily life too.,where planning is necessary.

That is the reason why I feel knowing how to plan your actions will always be handy.


We need joint efforts to achieve many things in life. Individual efforts are insufficient. Hence, the concept of jobs and employment arrived because different people have different strengths and skills, which are important for the employers.

Even in relationships, trust, which is the foundation of the relationship, comes with reliability.

  • A reliable person is an asset to society.
  • Raises and promotions are given to reliable persons sooner or later.
  • The person too, feels good about himself/herself and that adds to the self-esteem of the person.
  • Its an indication of strong Character.


This is one quality that is fast diminishing given the tremendous innovations and the increasing comfort being provided to us in the form of automated machines to do our jobs.We no longer have to go to a bank for transactions, even shopping is online, so who will wait, right?

These are trivial scenarios but in many events in life, only a man with patience will come out unscathed.Just consider the simple act of looking after a plant. It takes time for the plant to grow into a full-fledged tree, right? Hurry up and the plant will perish. Or, in case of a surgery, imagine the amount of patience that goes into the process!

Innovations do not happen overnight neither do startups turn into a conglomerate in a jiffy.

Rome Was Not Built In A Day.

What kind of an edge does patience provide you with?

  • Being patient, you invest more time in the process and thereby achieve more efficiency in your results.
  • You are better prepared for any problem that occurs in your work, since you have analysed a number of outcomes for the same.
  • A work done in haste is either not done properly or left unfinished, wasting both time and efforts.
  • You feel more satisfied of your success if it has come through a lot of efforts.
  • You can teach someone else whatever you have learnt and share the knowledge.
  • But if you have rushed through your task then there are high chances of you forgetting how you had done the job previously and will have to do everything all over again.

And finally!

The best is yet to be.

— Robert Browning

Why not vote and decide?

What according to you is most important of these all?

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© 2015 Ramachandra A Pai


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