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10 Traits of Sucessful Heroic Leaders

10 Traits of Sucessful Heroic Leaders

Everyone likes to hear the stories of great leaders, especially heroic leaders. Think of great people like Martin Luther King, Mandela, and Mother Teresa. These heroic leaders were common individuals who jumped into the crisis situations regardless of whether or not they were responsible for resolving the issue. We praise these characters as role models and celebrate their successes.

Here are some common qualities of heroic leaders.

1. Courage

Heroic leaders have the determination to achieve the goal, regardless of the challenging obstacles. They display confidence under stress and are courageous enough to take risks when others are looking to hide themselves.

In, 1955, Rosa Lee Parks in Tuskegee, Alabama refused to hand over her seat to a white passenger on an isolated Montgomery, Alabama bus. She was detained and penalized, but her courageous action directed a positive boycott of the Montgomery buses by African American passengers.

    2. Passion

    It might be possible to instill leaders’ qualities, but truly heroic leaders are already passionate about their work. Their passion and level of assurance inspire the team members and motivate them to perform better.

    Mohandas Gandhi was a well-known political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement. Gandhi headed the powerful Salt Tax protest and was detained numerous times for his protests against British rule.

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      3. Integrity

      Leadership is the integration of external actions and internal ethics. Heroic leaders are trusted by their followers because they never change from inner values, even when it might be difficult.

      Nelson Mandela had the trust and daring to fight against the unfair structure of apartheid. Because of his political actions, he was sent to prison for 20 years, but he managed to win the trust of the people and soon he was set free to lead a free South Africa.

        4. Honesty

        Heroic leaders are always honest with everyone around them; they tell the truth and possess little tolerance for telling people what they want to hear. At the end of the communiqué, they expect honesty from others, and they don’t penalize people for doing so.

        Abraham Lincoln’s great laws of truth and honesty led people to recognize him as a judge or moderator in several cases, fights, and quarrels. People trusted implicitly upon his honesty, truthfulness, and fairness.

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          5. Confidence

          Developing self-confidence is ingrained in heroic leaders as a key to success. A leader begins to develop confidence by achieving a small accomplishment. As heroic leaders progress in their lives, they attract fellowship, use influence tactics to develop self-confidence, and shape, train, and motivate a team.

          Steve Jobs’s leadership style was multifaceted. He was strongly focused when committed and confident enough to make risky decisions to enlist legions of employees and customers in the persistent search of his goals.

            6. Patience

            One of the greatest qualities heroism possesses is a great amount of patience, an invaluable virtue, which helped them in spreading their message.

            Martin Luther King, Jr. significantly contributed to American society by eradicating isolation and hugely plummeting racism. During his movement, King’s life was in unceasing danger—his home was blown up and his companions were threatened, hassled, arrested, and detained. His impeccable quality of patience to remove racism makes King one of the most inspirational heroes of all time.

              7. Selflessness

              A great American leader John F.Kennedy once said, “Don’t ask what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

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              This is the attitude of truly heroic leaders. They are more concerned about group successes than with hunting their own goals. Such individuals become an inspiration for others, even as they face challenges; they will embrace success and earn respect.

              Again, the great Nelson Mandela was a selfless leader who lived his life for his people, and he has been recognized as one of the greatest leaders in the world. His willingness and enthusiasm to sacrifice for others headed a movement to unite a divided nation and bring together periods of pain and racism. Throughout his life and even after his death, he is renowned as a hero. Mandela dedicated himself to the struggle of the African people.

                8. Caring

                Apart from selflessness, Heroic Leaders care about making the world a better place; they display a sense of concern and kindness for others. They are community service leaders, who take action intentionally to improve the lives of others.

                Mother Teresa’s life-long dedication to the care of the poor, unprivileged and deprived people was one of the utmost examples of service to the humanity. She dedicated herself to humanity, forgotten and unwanted people, not only in India but all over the world.

                  9. Humility

                  Humility is the common quality of heroic leaders: nonexistence of pride or self-assertion in their personality. Heroic leader realizes their own weaknesses, and give credit to all the people behind their success. Humility is the most powerful virtue that is needed within every leader to achieve success.

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                  Jim Levy, an army officer, is recalled as a humble man who served his nation and public in times of war and peace and always kept his sense of service. After the war, when he came back to Montgomery, Levy switched from combat services to community responsibilities and set an example of leadership by playing key roles in various public activities.

                    10. Supportive

                    We conclude from this point that heroic leaders display a supportive leadership behavior. They make it a habit to guide others and are welcoming, approachable, and supportive. Truly heroic leaders lean toward the welfare and requirements of their subordinates.

                    Malala Yousafzai, 15 years old, is the world’s most famous advocate for girls’ right to education; she was shot in the head for protecting every girls’ right to an education in Pakistan’s Swat valley.

                      Featured photo credit: blog.ishafoundation.org via b.isha.ws

                      More by this author

                      Tayyab Babar

                      Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on April 19, 2021

                      The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

                      The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

                      Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

                      The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

                      Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

                      In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

                      When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

                      Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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                      1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

                      When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

                      As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

                      That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

                      The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

                      What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

                      Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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                      There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

                      So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

                      2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

                      When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

                      No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

                      3. Move Your Body

                      A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

                      It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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                      So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

                      4. Connect With Another Person

                      Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

                      One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

                      Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

                      5. Use Your Imagination

                      When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

                      That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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                      And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

                      Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

                      Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

                      More on the Importance of Taking a Break

                      Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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