A leader can be a bad writer, an awful public speaker, he can dress with strange colors, be ordinary looking, walk with a cane, be fat, laugh too hard, make truckloads of little mistakes, be arrogant, annoying, poor.
A leader doesn't have to know it all. Actually, the time he would spend trying to be an encyclopedia would be time wasted, i.e. time that he could have used to make his team more solid, or to refine his plans, to correct course, to solve conflicts within the team, to keep an eye on things, to sleep, to build new relationships or solidify the ones he has with his customers or partners.
A leader will have enough self-confidence to hire people that are better than him in some areas. Most of the time, these people simply want a perfect vehicle to express themselves and their talents. They don't have the ambition to run their own show. If they do decide to spread their wings, the good leader will support their efforts all the way. Chances are, they will become partners if their respective projects fit together.
More than that, the good leader will prepare someone else long in advance for the moment where he will step aside to retire, or simply to look for different challenges.
Brian Tracy, the world famous author and public speaker, said that success is 85 % relationships. The other 15 %, I can't remember what it is, I think it is talent or skiil, or knowledge, or a combination of all three.
The management of time and money is a must. For money, he will most likely have someone who manages the budget and keeps informed. Same for managing his time, although he has the last word on his priorities, of course.
The good leader will be able to adapt to circumstances, to temporary setbacks.
So, what is the most important quality of the leader ?
I have not mentioned it so far.
Yet, it is absolutely essential. Else, success will elude him/her. The team will fall apart.
That quality is vision.
Lack of it is a trip to hell. To awful, utter failure. To lost reputation, bad press, destroyed business relationships and customers gone forever.
All these consequences might not be permanent, although you better believe it will take a long time to rebuild the business, the reputation. To regain trust.
It is feasible, in some cases. However, if the leader hides behind trees, refuses to take any responsibility for the failure, or looking for a scapegoat, he will remain in the shadows of the business world.
Vision is thinking long term. Thinking out of the box. See opportunities where others see obstacles.
A successful vision combines patience, determination, clear goals, peace of mind, love of people, acknowledgment of strengths and weaknesses, first in himself, then in the others involved, in his business and outside.
Pride and vision don't go together. If the leader is not ready to listen to suggestions, to common sense, if he's full of himself, it's a ticket to the couch to look at TV watching reruns and still wondering what happened years after the fact.
How does one acquire vision ?
Read success books. Begin with the classics, like "Think and grow rich", "think big", "awaken the giant within", "maximum achievement". Make the ideas in these books a part of your spirit. It will take more a day, or a week, a month.
How long does it take to acquire vision ? Only you can answer that question for yourself.
One thing that must be acquired before vision : self-confidence.
Self-confidence will be the light helping you to clear the cobwebs of your unfocused thoughts. It will give you the courage to go out there and express your vision.
How do you acquire self-confidence ? Get out of your comfort zone. It's the only way. Acknowledge that you will make many mistakes.