We all have different angles to what leadership mean. Some will tell you that leaders are born and not made; others will tell you that leaders are made and not born. Yet it does take some sustained habits for you to become the leader you can be.
1. They take the bull by the horn
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” — Les Brown
Great leaders tend to show courage when every other person cowers. They want to make an impact and where else can you make an impact by going at challenges head on. Rather than dilly-dally or make excuses, they take charge and stare at the task at hand with optimism and bravery. Yes even in the face of adversity and struggles, they have greater reason to swing forward rather than turn around.
2. They are good communicators
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William Arthur Ward
Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton… What do these people have in common? They are effective communicators. They can reach the heart of their listeners with the right words. So even when the heart and desire of their followers is dampened they can speak fire into them. They know how to communicate their thoughts, desires and expectations to others. Every leader doesn’t stop building his/her skill as a communicator.
3. They are unconventional
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” —Henry Ford
They do things differently, perhaps uniquely. They won’t follow the crowd or seek validation from the external rather than the internal. They chart their on course not based on popular opinion but on what may be considered unorthodox. This may take a lot of risk and criticism, but leaders do have a thick skin. Such unconventional tricks or play is what defines them in the long term rather than just for the short term.
4. They are adaptable
“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” – Publilius Syrus
They are flexible. They are not dogmatic or rigid. If they have to bend or secure another route that will provide the right answers, they will take it. They know that the world is unpredictable and constantly changing. Rather than try to fight their environment, they are willing to adapt when they have to.
5. They are passionate
“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.” – Steve Jobs
They don’t commit themselves into ventures or projects because it is profitable. They go for projects they are passionate about. There is something about passion, it fires energy and can be contagious enough to attract other persons to your cause. Great leaders never give up the habit to be passionate and sharing that passion with everyone around them.
6. They are approachable
“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
They never distance themselves from the pack. They are open to suggestions ideas that will propel success. They understand that in an environment where people are stifled and cannot connect with others there is always a greater chance of failure than success. This is why they will always welcome criticism, challenges and the opinion of others.
7. They are humble
“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.” Lao Tzu
Nothing is gained with arrogance. Great leaders never give up the habit of humility. They are not consumed in their world. Even when they are in a position of authority they do not make others feel that they are better them. They will jump in and do the dirty work when they have to and they will never have to ask their followers or subordinates to do what they are not willing to do themselves.
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