District 41 Toastmasters

Leadership Qualities of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam


Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was an exceptional individual who stood out as a prominent scientist and leader in India. Serving as the President of India from 2002 to 2007, he was fondly known as the “People’s President.” He was not only an outstanding scientist but also a visionary leader who inspired millions through his words and deeds.

Despite being an average student during his schooling, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam had an insatiable curiosity and a deep passion for learning. These qualities led him to pursue aerospace engineering and emerge as one of the most successful scientists in the world. He served four decades as a scientist and science administrator at DRDO and ISRO, overseeing several efficacious projects. Dr. Kalam’s contributions to India’s missile and nuclear power programs have garnered global attention.
The following are some of the leadership qualities exhibited by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam:

5 Leadership Qualities: Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

  1. Visionary Clarity
    A clear vision of seeing India as a developed nation was what Dr. Kalam passionately pursued. He tirelessly dedicated himself to achieve that objective viewing technology and innovation as the key driving forces to bring this dream to fruition. His leadership was marked by his ability to inspire his team with his vision and motivate them to work together towards achieving their shared goal.
  2. Courageous Decision Making
    Dr. Kalam was a leader who was fearless in making tough decisions. He understood that leadership required making difficult choices and dared to make those decisions. He was not swayed by popular opinion; instead, he followed his conscience and did what he believed was best for the nation.
  3. Success Failure Management
    Dr. Kalam acknowledged the significance of managing both success and failure with grace. He acknowledged that the team’s success was his success and always credited his team for their accomplishments. Conversely, when faced with loss, he took accountability and used it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
  4. Transparent Communication
    Transparency was an essential value for Dr. Kalam’s leadership. He valued clear, open communication and always maintained honesty with his team. He encouraged his team members to freely express their ideas and opinions and ensured that every voice was heard. He firmly believed transparency was crucial to establishing trust and building a strong team.
  5. Humble Leadership
    According to Dr. Abdul Kalam, genuine leadership did not involve displaying one’s authority or position, but rather, it was all about serving others. He utilized his power and influence to empower others and positively impact their lives.
    Even though Dr. Kalam achieved numerous accomplishments throughout his life, he remained grounded and approachable. He was aware that his triumphs were not solely a product of his hard work but also of the support and guidance he received from others. With an open mind, he was always willing to learn from others while acknowledging their contributions.


Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was a remarkable leader admired and loved by many. He was an individual who believed in the power of education, innovation, and, most importantly, serving others. He led by example and demonstrated his leadership qualities in various capacities, including as a scientist, administrator, and President of India. He was a visionary leader who dedicated his life to transforming his dream of a developed India into a reality.

Dr. Kalam’s leadership style was characterised by his humility, transparency, and dedication to his team’s success. He was a leader who did not shy away from making tough decisions and managing the success and failures that came with them. His life and work inspire people worldwide, and his legacy will always be remembered as a symbol of hope, perseverance, and leadership. The lessons learned from Dr. Kalam’s life and leadership style can continue to inspire and guide individuals toward becoming better leaders who serve others and positively impact their communities.

Raja Kumar
Toastmasters Club of Dwarka