Individual and Group Qualities Essential for Effective Leadership

Individual and Group Qualities (Adopted from-Some Thoughts on the Role of Spirituality in Transformational Leadership By Helen S. Astin)

In viewing leadership as a collective effort certain qualities are expected to be inherent in such groups. Five prominent ones are enlisted below –

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The five Group Qualities are:

1. Collaboration: Collaboration is the cornerstone of an effective group leadership process. It empowers each individual, engenders trust, and capitalizes on the diverse talents of group members within the group.

2. Shared purpose: What are the desired changes or transformations that inform how leadership effort is directed? What needs to be changed and why?

3. Disagreement with respect: Since differences within a group are inevitable, the key to maintaining the group’s cohesion and effectiveness is in how we deal with differences.

4. Division of Labor: Each member of the group is involved in making her individual contributions to the overall effort according to each one’s talents, strengths, and skills, and

5. Creating and sustaining a learning environment: Learning from each other, acquiring shared knowledge, interpersonal skills and technical competencies

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Individual Qualities –

The five individual qualities that are essential to a well-functioning leadership effort are:

1. Self-Knowledge: Awareness of your own beliefs, values, attitudes, emotions. What motivates you to seek change? What are your talents and strengths as well as your personal limitations?

2. Authenticity/Integrity: Do I behave in congruence with what I believe/value? Do I walk my talk?

3. Commitment: Do I bring sufficient passion and intensity about our collective work to sustain the group effort. What is my level of persistence?

4. Empathy/understanding of others: Do I work on my capacity to put myself in the other person’s place? Do I listen carefully?

5. Competence: How do I enhance my competence to contribute to the group effort? This means being knowledgeable, and continuing to develop appropriate knowledge and skills.

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