A lot of people get trapped in the idea that they are nothing more than ordinary. Salary men, simple teachers, students, office workers and many may feel like their professions or lack of a fancy title may mean they are meant to be a follower.

They couldn’t be more wrong. Leadership comes in many shapes and sizes, its qualities are subtle. Here are twelve signs that show you’re not only a leader, but a remarkably good leader:

1. You lead when you are needed to.

We’ve all met assertive go-getters who feel the need to be in charge no matter the task at hand. Whether it’s a group project, following an itinerary, or even just a brainstorming session, these people need to be in charge and they will make sure everyone knows it. Always being in charge, however, doesn’t translate to good leadership. Good leaders know their areas of expertise–they work for the good of the project and not themselves. They know when to stand aside and hand over the baton.

2. You lead for a cause, not a promotion.

While it’s important to have ambition, a remarkably good leader dedicates their energies first to the cause, then to the team and lastly to him or herself. Leadership often comes with power, but that’s not its defining characteristic. If you take on a project hoping to reap only self-benefit, it will show in its outcome and be reflected on the morale of your team.

3. You break the rules.

Leadership is about redefining things, finding new solutions and leading others to bigger and better things. Remarkably good leaders don’t stay in a single place and carry out their activities outside the box. Leadership is about bringing progress and provoking evolution, and none of this can be done from inside the margins of the status quo.

4. You speak out.

Do you spot a double standard? Did you witness an injustice? Remarkably good leaders speak up in the face of adversity and stand up for what is right, not what is popular. Standing up for those who can’t and taking a stand to help others is an important characteristic of a leader.

5. You know your team.

Imagine taking the wheel on a project but having no idea of who you are working with or what their strengths are. Now imagine working on a project and having the person in charge never call you by name, or worse, call you by the wrong name. Remarkably good leaders know everything they need to know about each and every member of their team, they are personable and always have their preferences in mind when delegating duties.

6. You appoint the right people to the right post.

What good is it to know your team and their abilities if you don’t take advantage of them? Remarkably good leaders don’t just know what their team is about, they know how to best delegate their strengths and weaknesses to get results.

7. You give credit where it’s due.

Once a goal is reached, it’s easy for others to place credit on the team leader. Bad leaders reap in the spotlight and are ready to take credit for the end results. Meanwhile, a remarkably good leader never fails to highlight others’ individual work. Using “we” when speaking of triumphs goes a long way. True leaders know they are nothing without the people around them and they are not afraid of showing it.

8. You are extremely accountable.

Everybody makes mistakes and remarkably good leaders are not an exception. Failures more than successes separate the good from the bad, given that the latter searches for someone to blame instead of taking responsibility. Great leaders often speak of failures in terms of “I” and take responsibility for their team. Remarkably good leaders are not fazed by periods of failures — at least they have a good team to get through it with.

9. You trust your intuition.

When leading a team into uncharted territory, remarkably good leaders trust themselves to make sound decisions. They draw from past experiences or ask for help from mentors or experienced members of their field. Fear of the unknown doesn’t hold them back because they believe in themselves and their team.

10. Your positivity is contagious.

No matter the situation, remarkably good leaders keep their spirits high. They take failures gracefully and successes do not go to their heads. They keep an appropriate sense of humor, show humility, and more than team members, they have friends. Remarkable leaders generate enthusiasm for the work they do, their positivity is contagious and it shows on the quality of their team’s job.

11. You are a good listener.

Remarkably good leaders don’t want to rule their team, they want to work together. This mans they are open to listening to new ideas or projects and are not afraid of seeking advice and learning from others. Most importantly, remarkably good leaders also listen to criticism and don’t become defensive or upset when a team member or client voices a concern or points out an inconsistency or mistake.

12. You inspire others to change.

Remarkably good leaders know the difference between dictating and leading. Dictating involves scaring team members into getting results. Leading involves inspiring people to give the best they have to achieve said results. Remarkably good leaders inspire their team members to become the best version of themselves that they can be. They build solid foundations, and are not afraid of sharing knowledge. If you are always searching for ways to make the people around you grow, they will be inspired to do so and their work will reflect how proud they are to be part of your team.

Using these twelve signs you can become a remarkably good leader.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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