"Leadership Qualities" According To APJ Abdul Kalam

According to Former President of India Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam any leader must have 6 qualities to lead effectively.

  1. A leader must have vision. 
    • There is an old saying in English ” If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you”. A leader must know the paradise even before he sets for his Journey and he must have seen even before it is reality.
  2. A leader must travel towards unexplored path. 
    • Where people see end, leader sees an opportunity to start a new venture. 
    • One of the board directors of IBM once said ” World hardly has market for 5 computers”. Where people saw nothing Bill Gates visualised a wonderful world for himself and his employees.
  3. He must know how to Manage success and most importantly the failures.
    • To explain what he really means its good to state one of his own experiences. When he was the mission director of SLV, “a team took help of computers to check the system and to launch it. It got into trouble. Instead of satellite going into orbit, the whole rocket went into Bay of Bengal. Our men failed miserably. The leader and then chairman Satish Dhawan, considered as the one of the visionary leaders, took the responsibility of failure and the next year in 1980 the team succeeded, and Satish dhawan told Mr Kalam to address the press conference. The message is very clear “The leader takes failure alone and stands firm with his team but when team succeeds the credit goes to the team not to the leader”.
    • I think Nelson Mandela the great leader explained it beautifully when he said “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership”.
  4. A leader must have courage to take decision.
    • I don’t know how to describe courage, but let me put in a very simple way. Courage is a mental, moral strength to stand for what is right. Its the quality and strength of the mind which enables us to encounter any danger or difficulties with firmness. Remember leaders are always compared with an Eagle which flies high and high….
    • When Gandhi said “non-violence is the way out for independence”, think about the failures he might have encountered, still stood firm and built an army of strong believers in Non- violence and today we call him BAAPU.
  5. A leader must have nobility in Management. 
    • Nobility in Management can never be learned by reading a set of book. Leadership is a process. Likewise inbuilt nobality in management is process where you build some traits which distinguish you from others. Nobility in Management can be defined as set of acts, traits, character which differ from others.
  6. Every action of the leader should be transparent, leader must work with integrity and succeed with Integrity.
    • I suppose this is the most unseen characteristic in leaders of today. Integrity is a set of principles, Ideas, moral values which helps to make the right decisions in our daily life. 


“Creativity leads to thinking.
Thinking provides knowledge.
Knowledge makes you great.”
– A P J Abdul Kalam.




More about A P J Abdul Kalam