The academic world is loaded with books that attempt to define proper leadership. Some claim there is a set formula for being a great leader, while others believe leadership is a situational concept. The fact is that there is no set requirements for being a leader. Throughout history we have seen so many different people become leaders in their own unique ways, and achieved tremendous success in their cause.
Yet while there are no set standards for what defines a great leader, there are particular qualities that made them great leaders. These all don’t necessarily apply to everybody, but should be heeded as personal qualities to strive for, not only to lead but to help with the positive progression of mankind.
We are more apt to work more diligently for a cause if we are passionate about it. Passion is what drove the majority of the leaders we see, read about and identify with, and many of the innovations and technology we take for granted today are the products of people who are dedicated and passionate to create something that will help society work more efficiently.
Being passionate means you will have more drive to work harder, you are more likely to stick to your guns, and attract other people who are passionate about the same thing.
If you intend to lead people, you must also understand them. Everybody has a unique story, with their own motivations and personalities. As their leader, you must understand and respect that about them. While it’s not okay to baby your followers and let them get away with whatever they want, focusing on their strengths when assigning tasks will allow them to contribute to the group positively.
Empathy also means going out and leading in the community. When Miami attorneys dropped their briefcases for a week to go help with the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, they were being empathetic to the needs of those people without homes or businesses. Community service is an excellent way to show your empathy and to establish yourself as a leader who cares.
Another quality of great leaders is that they are critical of their surroundings. It is easy to maintain the status quo, and requires little leadership. But when good leaders see something that is getting in the way of followers’ and colleagues’ satisfaction and happiness, they go about the right routes to find the solution.
This is a quality important for leaders and followers alike. In fact, this is a quality everybody should try to adopt regardless of their career field or type of organization. Speaking and writing eloquently will help you communicate ideas for change, and will make your presentations much more clear. Being an eloquent speaker will also open the doors for better career opportunities because your speech is clear and personable.
As mentioned, not all of these qualities apply to everybody in order for them to be great leaders, though they should still be greatly considered. What other qualities do you think every leader should have?