Qualities of Effective Leadership

The qualities of effective leadership include courage, strength, the ability to communicate effectively, knowledge, judgment, integrity, and interpersonal skills. A particularly important quality is vision, along with the power to implement that vision. Leadership is not inborn and is not related to a particular personality type. Leadership skills can be learned, provided a person is sufficiently motivated to make changes within himself/herself. One of the greatest shortcomings in law enforcement organizations is the lack of systematic leadership development. People are generally promoted based on past job performance, rather than on leadership potential. The result is that new first-line supervisors are often ill-prepared to assume their new duties. Continued training and education is even more important as people advance up the career ladder. Power is a necessary component of leadership. “Power” means that a person can make things happen, while authority means that a rank enables a person to require people to perform certain duties or suffer the consequences. A true leader manifests power to achieve goals by marshaling the resources of others, even though no official authority has been bestowed on the person. Power is mostly based on the ability to communicate and persuade others to join the effort to reach a significant goal.

The Rise of Political Influencers

Despite an increasing information overflow in the era of digital communication, influencers manage to draw the attention of their followers with an authentic and casual appearance. Reaching large audiences on social media, they can be considered as digital opinion leaders. In the past, they predominantly appeared as experts for topics like fashion, sports, or gaming and used their status to cooperate with brands for marketing purposes. However, since recently influencers also turn towards more meaningful and political content. In this article, we share our perspective on the rise of political influencers using examples of sustainability and related topics covered on Instagram. By applying a qualitative observational approach, we illustrate how influencers make political communication look easy, while at the same time seamlessly integrating product promotions in their social media feeds. In this context, we discuss positive aspects of political influencers like contributions to education and political engagement, but also negative aspects such as the potential amplification of radical political ideology or conspiracy theories. We conclude by highlighting political influencers as an important research topic for conceptual and empirical studies in the future.