It is often said that "the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow." Leaders in the various walks of life are very popular. The images of leaders in sports, politics, cinema, business are brought to notice through mass-media. There are different success stories behind every successful leader and there is no single accepted quality of becoming successful leader.

The socio-cultural tradition, and politico-economic situation are some of the important determinants of leadership. Success in family, business, school, country or the military is often attributed to the quality of leadership.

In today’s work environment, the melting away of national and geographical boundaries via computerisation and Internet has created greater need for global leadership. The importance of leading in diverse environments has become more important in today’s context. Leadership is defined as ability to influence others to achieve certain goals. A good leader can significantly influence the behaviour, attitude and performance of the followers.

Qualities of a Leader

If Gandhi is an example of social leader, Narayan Murthy is an example of professional leader and Buddha, Christ, Gurunanak are examples of religious leaders. Initiative and dominance are important in the leadership process. Leaders are heard and accepted by a sizeable number of the people. Their followers involve communication and the authority of such leaders is accepted by them.

The qualities required to be a successful leader varies from place to place, culture to culture, and situation to situation. There are leaders in specialized fields such as Sachin Tendulkar in cricket, Ratan Tata in business and Abinav Bindra in shooting but they are not recognized as mass leaders. Successful leadership in a particular field and leadership of the mass social spectrum are different.

The main psychological attributes of a leader are as follows:

  1. Leaders are aware of the abilities of their followers.

  2. Leaders have good communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal.

  3. Leaders accept personal responsibilities and set examples for group members.

  4. Leaders have ability to understand the situation.

  5. Leaders are good planners, visionary and trustworthy.