5 Qualities of Every Great Leader - Smart Money Seed


5 Qualities of Every Great Leader

What is a leader?

By definition, a leader is the person who leads or commands a group or organization. For many people this means someone who has been appointed, elected, or promoted into a position of power and authority. Managers, politicians, and team captains are all pretty common examples of leaders, but that doesn't mean they are the only examples. In fact, I'd argue that most leaders are not in a position of power or authority at all.

In my opinion, leaders are simply the people that can rally a team of individuals together to accomplish a common goal. Leaders are the people that others looks up to and seek advice from, and most importantly, leaders are people that put the team ahead of themselves. Leaders come in all different shapes, sizes, and varieties, but there are a handful of qualities that are common denominators among most great leaders.

All the great ones have it...

1. Passion
If you aren't personally passionate about the goal you're trying to accomplish, how do you expect to get a group of people to be passionate? To find success in almost anything, you need to find something you care about; the same is true is true for leadership. Passion is contagious, and if you want to be a great leader, you need to look for opportunities where you can share that passion with others.

2. Positivity
A leader needs to be the lantern in a dark cave. Even when your back is against the wall, leaders have to exude positive energy and hope. If teams see that their leader is okay in times of chaos and conflict, they too will rise above the challenge and work through adversity.

3. Decisiveness
Leaders need to be able to make decisions, including decisions that impact the whole group. Decisions often create the biggest bottle necks for teams when there isn't a clear answer; leaders must be able to make swift and fair choices to keep the team focussed on what matters most.

4. Accountability
This goes hand in hand with decisiveness. A leader must hold themselves accountable for their actions, including the decisions they've made. The best leaders always put the team before themselves and would never point blame in the event of a mistake.

5. Open-mindedness
Have you noticed I haven't mentioned anything about intelligence or IQ? Leaders don't need to be the smartest person in the room, but they need to be able to listen to the smartest person in the room. Sometimes the best ideas are unplanned or even seem to go against the grain; leaders have to be receptive of these ideas. This can be challenging, especially when the idea is different than your own train of thought.

Leadership Boot Camp

Just because you aren't a leader today doesn't mean you can't work on being one for tomorrow. Just because you are a leader doesn't mean you can't become better. Like with most things, practice makes perfect for leadership. Here are some of the easiest ways to improve your leadership skills:

  • Utilize your strengths - all too often we concentrate too heavily on our weaknesses. We're not analytical enough, we don't have a great attention for detail, or we aren't great public speakers. While it's important to be cognizant of our weaknesses, sometimes it is more important to focus on our strengths. Not all leaders have the same amount of passion or positivity; focus on your biggest strengths and let those qualities make you the best leader you can be.
  • Seek educational opportunities - whether it is a class, a book, or a mentor, continue to find opportunities to learn more about the different forms of leaderships. Most great leaders are great because they choose to be. Keep your hunger for leadership opportunities alive by continuing to learn each and every day.
  • Live within your values - this ultimately comes back to passion. If you can't find a cause that falls within your personal values or morals, it will be nearly impossible for you to inspire others. If you want to become a better leader, try to find something that has a deeper meaning to you.

"A leader is someone who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." - John C. Maxwell
Leaders are at the core of every great success story, and not all leaders are in positions of power and control. Think about the position you're in today. Do you influence others? Do you bring groups of people together to accomplish problems? Do you know how to bring out the best in others? Chances are, you may be a leader and not even know it. Continue to inspire those around you and help build the next generation of leaders. Go out and show the way to those groups you support.

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