Field Marshall Bill Slim was one of the best British Generals of World War 2 and was extremely well known for his leadership qualities. He turned around the 14th Army in Burma into an effective fighting force to beat the Japanese and he was so respected by all ranks of the 14th Army, that he was known as ‘Uncle Bill’. In 1963, he gave a lecture to the Canadian Club of Toronto which explained his views of leadership and he defined the following qualities of what makes a leader.
Courage : Prepared to do what you think is right even if the consequences are not going to be pleasant. A leader wants not so much physical courage, but moral courage.
Will-Power : Opposition to what you want to do, does not always come from your competitor, but from your own people and you have got to have sufficient determination, tenacity and will-power to overcome it.
Judgement : This is an essential quality of leadership and if there are 2 courses of actions which are equally balanced, then choose the bold one.
Flexibility : Any organism that survives in nature is able to adapt itself to new conditions. Business conditions are changing so rapidly and in every direction and unless you have the mental flexibility, it will be rather difficult to survive.
Knowledge : Unless you know more about the thing which are telling other people to do, you have no right to lead them. This does not mean that you have to know the details of the work, but you must have knowledge of the conditions in under which these things are done and how long they take.
Integrity : When you have integrity as a leader and if things do not go well, the employees will stand by you.
Most business people will have the first 5 qualities, but I wonder how many of them have ‘integrity’ as one of their qualities !!.