There have been volumes written about what makes great leaders. One of the old debates is whether leaders are born with a natural talent for leadership or can those talents be learned and cultivated. Many experts tend to believe it’s a mixture of the two scenarios. Whatever may be the case, however, leaders are crucial in bringing out the best and providing guidance to others.
The qualities of good leaders are also often discussed. Experts often debate whether a dynamic personality and good management skills are enough to make good leaders. While these are important qualities, there could be other ingredients that are just as valuable. For instance, research often reveals great leaders show empathy toward others while they inspire others to grow their own personal skills and talents.
One of my first managers had some interesting perspectives about leadership. One belief he shared was that great leaders love problems. They will always run to the solution of a problem, not away from it. With this attitude, the skill of not being afraid to face a challenge head-on, great leaders bring along those they lead in the quest to find these solutions.
Something else common to great leaders is that they naturally develop those around them and inspire them to be leaders too. They do this consistently and without hesitation. Different from most others, competition or the new generation coming up behind them does not threaten good leaders.
Great leaders earn the trust and enduring loyalty of those around them. It wouldn't occur to a great leader to think of the people he or she leads as subordinates or in any way inferior. They respect the unique talents and worth of every individual. Great leaders don’t hesitate to step aside to allow others to lead when the situation calls for it.
Great leaders are not in a quest for more personal power. Though they are passionate about their purpose and inspire others to feel strongly as well.
Let’s present a personal challenge. Who qualifies as a great leader to you? What qualities do they possess which have made them great leaders? Which of their qualities would you, or should you, emulate to make your personal and professional life more rewarding? Now, use this knowledge to put a plan together to make this happen.