Leadership is a quality that not many have. People say you have to be born with it; a leader cannot be created, but by adopting the right qualities and traits, there is no reason why anyone can’t be an effective leader.

1. Courage.

“Courage is the first virtue that makes all other virtues possible.” —Aristotle

A leader needs to be courageous for people to follow him/her. A spineless leader cannot evoke loyalty and obedience in his followers.

2. Develop good communication skills.

Unless a leader can effectively communicate his ideas and take feedback from his followers, he is of no use. Not only must a leader be able to communicate himself, he must also facilitate exchange of ideas between followers.

3. Ability to motivate.

A good leader needs to be able to motivate. He needs to be able to inspire people to achieve great heights. And for that, a leader needs to be driven and motivated himself.

4. Don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty.

Being a leader doesn’t mean sitting on a chair and yelling out orders. It means being with the workers at every turn, and if that means rolling up your sleeves and getting down to work with the workers; so be it!

5. Know every aspect of the operation.

Unless you know every step of the work process, how will you make sure it is being done properly? A leader needs to be knowledgeable about every aspect, whether it is under his area of expertise or not.

6. Be one of the guys.

You cannot be a leader if you are unapproachable, cold and stern. A good leader is like a friend to his workers; they can come to him any time and with any problem.

7. Have conviction.

Unless a leader has confidence in himself and in the job at hand, he cannot convince his followers to trust him. Make sure whatever you do, you do it with passion, commitment and conviction.

8. Be trustworthy and completely transparent.

Workers need to be able to trust their leader completely. They need to know that he will never lead them astray or misguide them. A leader without this trustworthiness is not an effective leader.

9. Be optimistic, but also a realist.

A leader needs to be able motivate his team when things are down. He is the ray of sunshine, the voice of optimism in the group. But a leader also cannot be impervious or blind to ground reality by being too optimistic.

10. Honesty.

This is one of the most important traits of a leader. In order for his team to trust him, a leader needs to be completely honest, sometimes even to the point of bluntness, with them.

11. Be organized.

A haphazard confused leader cannot lea his team to greatness. Know what your strategy is and communicate it to the workers, so that they are not working aimlessly.

12. Know when to foot the blame…

When things go wrong, the leader must take full responsibility for it, without letting his team get affected. This is very important for a good leader, one who is true to his team.

13. …and when to share the credit.

But when the team achieves success, the leader must also be willing to share credit. He must give credit where credit is due. It is, after all a team effort, and not a solo effort.

14. The ability to look at the big picture.

The workers may be hardworking, talented and efficient, but they can only do what they’re told to. It is the responsibility of the leader to look at the big picture, and make sure that efforts of the team are directed the right way, and are not being wasted.

15. Value time.

An effective leader knows the value of time, and never wastes it-his or others’. No worker likes a leader who wastes his time and does not get much accomplished. A leader needs to have the ability to squeeze out as much work as possible from his team, in as little time as possible.

Everyone respects a good and true leader. He is looked up to and admired. Follow these habits of popular leaders to be an efficient leader and lead your team to glory.