There are many qualities and traits that make up a good leader. What separates the best leaders from the rest?
1. They take initiative on their own
The best leaders take initiative and get things done without anyone having to tell them to do it. They know what they want to achieve and think about it all the time. John Quincy Adams said “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” The best leaders are always taking action towards something significant, and you should too. Don’t procrastinate and try to pace yourself along when it comes to achieving goals that matter to you.
2. They exercise self-discipline
The best leaders are disciplined. They know how their minds work. They know what motivates them and how to form new habits. They are productive when they need to be. They avoid doing things they know will slow them down in the long term. Andrew Carnegie said “The man who cannot or will not control himself never can control others.” This is by far one of the most important qualities of leadership. Don’t let negative habits run your life into a downward spiral.
3. They mastermind and create plans
The best leaders have masterminds of other people thinking out plans with them. They know what motivates other people and how to do it. They know they can’t accomplish everything alone and they can reach their goals much faster with the help of other people. This is a fact. Earl Nightingale said “No man can get rich himself, unless he enriches others.” Find like minded people with similar goals whom you respect to mastermind, form plans, and have regular meetings with.
4. They have the courage to step into their fears
Nelson Mandela said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” We could all draw some inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s story. Giving his autobiography a thorough read would probably put your life into perspective. There is always someone who has been through worse than you. The best leaders are not afraid to experience fear and unpleasant emotions if that’s what it takes to achieve their goals.
5. They learn all the time
The best leaders learn everything they can about their field and their position. They constantly look for ways things can be done more efficiently or effectively. They learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. They listen more than they talk. John F. Kennedy put it best “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Make learning a habit.
6. They give more than they take
The best leaders are givers. They aren’t out to take advantage of other people. They are in the habit of offering more value than they take. They understand and appreciate others. This creates happiness and peace of mind for them, and makes people want to serve them. As Dwight D. Eisenhower put it “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Become a peaceful caring person and you’ll have all the cooperation you need.
7. They show persistent continuous action towards definite goals
Everyone respects persistence in the face of adversity. The best leaders know that defeat and failure are only temporary setbacks. They will make the necessary adjustments to their plans and move on. As Napoleon Hill says “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Calvin Coolidge said “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not, nothing is more common. Genius will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not, the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Steve Jobs said “You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” Know what you want and constantly move towards it through persistent continuous action until you attain it.
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