It’s not exactly easy being head honcho – decisions have to be made, people have to be swayed, and the pressure’s on to achieve success at the end of the day. If you’re a leader, what will you ultimately be remembered for? You can be the good boss, the one who gets along with everyone and may be a bit of a pushover. Or you can be the stern boss that demands high standards for success, possibly being respected but also despised. But what does it really take to be an iconic, memorable, all around great leader? Listed below are 25 characteristics that you may possess to be regarded as a great leader.
1. You’re persuasive
This is one of the most essential characteristics – you have a knack for persuading others. Whether to get someone on board with an idea or if you’re skilled at conveying an argument, every leader is known for their ability to compel others.
2. You inspire those around you
A great leader doesn’t only maintain focus on themselves – they work to teach, motivate, and share their expertise with those around them. Others often regard you as a fountain of knowledge, as a means to learn something. They rely on your experience and your advice, and you’re more than willing to help.
3. You stay composed under pressure
Similar to the last point, you’re able to keep a cool mind at all times. When the going gets tough, you don’t let it get to you – you face adversity head on.
4. You trust in yourself
Trust in yourself and it will build the trust of those around you. You believe in yourself to come through in the clutch moments, and have a stream of confidence backing your every move.
5. You’re persistent
You’re always determined to get what you want. While you understand that it can’t always be the case, you exhaust every resource and every ounce of effort you have left before admitting defeat.
6. You exercise effective decision making
No great leader has ever been known to be indecisive. When a daunting decision comes your way, you know how to employ good judgement, make that decision in a timely manner and be sure about it. You’re logical, and a quick problem solver. Assertiveness is also key, which leads to the next point…
7. You stick by your word
You understand that if other’s see you as too flexible, they’ll walk all over you. You don’t bend to the objections of others – rather, you hold your ground whenever confronted and stand by whatever decisions you’ve made.
8. You’re self-disciplined
You practice self control and self-restraint. You don’t let emotions factor into your decision making. You don’t let desires or negative thoughts like greed carry you away. You don’t give into temptations easily and you’re strict with yourself. Subsequently, you understand that your success depends on it.
9. You always have a plan
Everyone comes to you in a time of need. You’re an effective strategist, and always have an idea or solution. You embrace everyday challenges as well as your ability to overcome them with your problem-solving.
10. You’re goal-oriented
You’re not happy unless you’re working to accomplish something. In fact, your mentality requires that you constantly work to achieve a plethora of goals in your personal life as well as your work life, whether you’re learning a new instrument or improving your health. Your confidence grows with each and every goal you happen to achieve and you feed that fire.
11. You constantly work to improve yourself
In respect to the previous point, you make it a lifelong mission to perpetually improve yourself in any way, shape or form. No one is perfect, and you understand that. However, you make it a priority to let others know that you’re constantly working towards being the best that you can be. And even though you’re not perfect…
12. You are a perfectionist
You don’t half-ass it when it comes to getting the job done. You exemplify at every instance, and understand that the beauty of everything lies in the details of your work. You go above an beyond, setting higher and higher standards for yourself and for others.
13. You’re open-minded
You frequently take the initiative to view matters through the perspective of others. This allows you to make sound decisions, to comprehensively evaluate any scenario. Others feel comfortable presenting ideas to you or conveying their thoughts because they know that you withhold judgement and are exceptionally reasonable.
14. You’re compassionate
No good leader is careless in their regard for others. You understand where others are coming from and demonstrate genuine empathy when a burdensome event crosses their path. You often seek to help, are a good listener, and you pour your half-full glass into their half-empty glass.
15. You’re charismatic
Most notable in cult leaders, this characteristic flows into any form of leadership. You have a surge of energy constantly flowing through you that infects others and gets them on board. Your enthusiastic approach to any issue reflects your genuine desire in life – your spark.
16. You’re virtuous
What cult leaders and dictators have in charisma, they lack in genuine virtue. You’re the good guy or gal that exercises every form of virtue known to man: courage, honesty, morality, righteousness. Your sincere display of these qualities quickly lets others know that you always have good intention and are one to respect.
17. You know how to read others
You’re socially aware – you can tell if others are lying to you or misleading you. You know how to read emotions, how to effectively judge a book by its cover. You constantly make an effort to learn about how those around you work, and to comprehend tendencies and understand behaviors.
18. You can handle criticism
In fact, you need it every now and then. You thrive on the feedback of others. Whether or not you adopt it is your call, but you definitely do not let it eat at you. If anything, it motivates you.
19. You’re humble
You joke more about yourself than you do about others. You admit your faults and embrace your mistakes and in turn, learn from them. You understand that your needs are not more important than those of others.
20. You’re optimistic
No great leader came to be a success with a pessimistic attitude – pragmatic, maybe, but not entirely negative. You have far-seeing aspirations that carry you towards attaining your goals and you can often employ a positive outlook on a negative circumstance.
21. You’re creative
You think far outside the box, as you approach problems with your own original thought. You’re an idea person, a visionary. You seek to innovate rather than work under the status quo.
22. You’re self-reliant
You don’t need others to supervise your work or to validate your efforts. You act on your own initiative and rely on your own instinct. You criticize yourself before others may get the chance. You have all the tools you need to make sure you’re successful and you don’t frequently look to others to get you where you want to go.
23. You know when to admit defeat
A great leader shouldn’t lose too often, but when they do, they accept it. It may sting, but you understand that it’s just part of the process and that, try as you might, you can’t win ’em all. In other words, you’re not a sore loser.
24. You’re willing to be accountable for the actions of others
When someone has to bite the bullet, you step up. You throw yourself over the grenade. War-themed sayings have been invented to effectively describe accountability. It’s an explosive thing, and you know how to handle it.
25. You’re likable
And lastly, people just seem to like you, and that’s likely due to the fact that you possess many of the aforementioned characteristics. You find that, because of who you are, you’re well-respected and admired by others.
If you find that you possess a majority of these characteristics, then all signs point to your potential to one day become a great leader. Remember that working on yourself is only half the battle, and that those around you matter more towards your subsequent success.
“Power isn’t control at all — power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own.” – Beth Revis