Essay on What It Takes To Be a Successful Leader

Published: 2021/11/24
Number of words: 945

When it comes to being an effective leader there are many skills that will accent and further anyone’s position in a leadership role. Leadership roles have changed substantially over the ages to cater to the changing times, but some skill sets of successful leaders have remained consistent throughout time. For example, in fifth century B.C in Athens, effective communication skills led to a greater personal benefit (Banwart 2020). Another important skill to accent leaders is the ability to make an educated decision in a moment’s notice. This ability to make high stakes decisions quickly, based on the knowledge they have in the field leads to better outcomes. Furthermore, leading by example, as opposed to just their words, is a proven method in getting others to follow them. By setting these precedents others are more inclined to follow their methods. Effective communication, decisiveness, and leading by example have led to higher success rates in leadership roles.

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Effective Communications

Effective communications can accent any career choice. By being able to effectively communicate their commands to others they ensure that their commands are well understood and ensure their followers can properly complete the tasks set before them. Aristotle introduced the key ideals of teaching and performance. By introducing the differentiation of rhetoric from dialectic, the importance of the purposive nature of communication, the identification of logos, ethos, and pathos, as well as identified the five cannons of rhetoric (Banwart 2020). Since the mid-twentieth century, leadership has been linked most consistently to the sub-discipline of organizational communication and group/team communication. Contemporary communication generally includes a review of leadership theory (Banwart 2020). By ensuring those who study communications fully understand the ability to lead those around them, we ensure all our leaders can attain the communications needed to lead properly.

Decisiveness in Leadership Roles

Furthermore, the ability of those in leadership positions to make educated decisions quickly, has been shown to aid in their ability to properly lead those who are not necessarily from the same background. Bo Rothstein’s definition of a social trap would be a situation where people are not willing to cooperate due to mutual distrust even when it would benefit the parties involved. The study completed by Cowan seeks to address how leaders relate to members of their own groups and others around them. It also seeks to empathize how different approaches work or do not work in the face of such impasses as being from a different group (Cowan 2017). The study shows that the ability to show them that we can make the most informed decisions given the situations presented to leaders, instills a faith in their ability to lead even to those outside of their own social, economic, and professional groups.

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Leading by Example

Another skill set important to leadership roles is the ability to lead by example. When leaders use themselves as an example, this sets a precedent for those they wish to lead. By using actions instead of words to show their intentions, those around them are more likely to follow. In the study conducted by Dannenberg, leaders either contributed before the others or make a pledge before others contribute. This study addressed forms of social cohesion such as collective identification and identity fusion (Dannenberg 2015). Collective identification would be perceiving a connection with the group based on various shared ideals and cultural norms. Identity fusion involves feeling a sense of oneness with a group, as if this group is one’s family. The Research conducted in Dannenberg shows that people who feel connected to a group are more likely to engage in acts of altruism for the group (Dannenberg 2015). This is a prime example of how putting their self in the same position they are asking others to be a part of can lead to better outcomes in their work. By catering to the same expectations as those around them, they allow for a feeling of inclusion among the groups they may not have had any connection with before.


In conclusion, effective communications, decisiveness, and leading by example has been shown to demonstrate the ability to better lead a team or group to its ultimate goal. Effective communications will allow those in leadership roles to properly express their vision to others. Decisiveness in leadership roles shows an ability to make educated decisions in a highly stressful and demanding situation. Leading by example is important to set a precedent for others, to allow them to feel more connected to the goals their leaders have set for them. Attaining these skills has led to better outcomes and higher morale among participants. Leaders should strive to have a oneness with those they are meant to lead, to communicate effectively to reach their goals, and be decisive. Whether they choose to lead a small group, or an entire nation, the decisions they make affect many of those around them and it is important to remember that when seeking any leadership roles.


Banwart, M. (2020). Communication Studies: Effective Communication Leads to Effective Leadership. New Directions for Student Leadership, 2020(165), 87–97

Cowan, M. A. (2017). Inclusiveness, Foresight, and Decisiveness: The Practical Wisdom of Barrier-Crossing Leaders. New England Journal of Public Policy29(1), 1–10.

Dannenberg, A. (2015). Leading by example versus leading by words in voluntary contribution experiments. Social Choice & Welfare, 44(1), 71–85.

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