- John Quincy Adams
There are many skills required to be a good leader. There are even more that are necessary to be a great leader. Great leaders make history, albeit not all of them do great things…Hitler, we are looking at you. The skill set required is very hard to learn if you do not already possess some glimmer of them.
A leader must be confident, in both themselves and their decisions. If a leader does not trust his or her own judgment, nobody else will trust it either. In a leadership role you are required to make decisions on staffing, expenditures and the future of your organization, it is of the utmost importance that others can put their faith in you and that people you can trust surround you.
Motivation and Goal Setting
Motivation is what drives a great leader to keep moving forward. Setting goals and being able to define the desired outcome of a situation or campaign is the key. Sometimes it would be nice to stay in bed all day; motivation is what makes you get up anyways. Not only do great leaders motivate themselves, they also motivate and empower others.
When great leaders meet their goals, they do not stop. They ask themselves how much further they can take it and then set new goals. Stagnation is not an option and success is something that is constantly sought after. Great leaders are constantly propelling themselves and their teams forward.
Thinks on their feet
When a great number of people are looking to you for ideas and answers, “I don’t know” is not an acceptable response. A great leader has already thought everything out from all angles and has a plan of action for any foreseeable circumstance that may arise. When an unexpected happening challenges them, they do not need to deliberate long before they know what must be done.
Great leaders are the lords of innovation. Without great leaders we would not have all of the technology and such that we do today. Creativity is necessary to develop an idea and is needed throughout the journey to the ultimate goal. To sell people on a specific idea you need to be able to present things in a way that excites them and makes them want to be involved.
Passion and Devotion
Devotion is what holds your belief in your goals steadfast, even when you are facing adversity and naysayers. The great leaders’ passion for things arouses the same feeling in others.
This means that a great leader is memorable. They are not wallflowers or quiet. They are opinionated and interesting. Great leaders are the people who make you remember their names. They intrigue people and make people want to know more about both them and their endeavors. (See Editor’s Note on book that offers other opinion)
It really is all about whom you know. Leaders are the ones networking and meeting other people. They are desirable company and very outgoing. There is no room for being shy or rude. Rudeness pushes people away where as great leaders focus on drawing others in and making team members feel as if they are a big part of what is going on.
Being a leader is not for everyone. Nevertheless, if you have the basis for leadership development and you hone your skills you may just be the next great leader. Just remember to be passionate, build a team you have total confidence in and never accept mediocrity.
Guest post by Kate Simmons, occasional blogger and freelance journalist on topics related to education, business and leadership skill development.
Editor’s Note: While some of the qualities of a good leader you are born with, some of them can be developed and improved upon. Don’t feel like you are creative? Take an art class, or learn new brainstorming skills. Lacking a bit of confidence? Learn how to boost your belief in yourself. Take the time to begin reading about each of these qualities and then start to implement what you learn. Before you know it you will have the leadership qualities that you want.
Here are some of my favorite books on these topics:
A Whack on the Side of the Head - great for learning more about creativity and applying it in your life. (I discovered this book in high school and still have it on my shelf).
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t – this is a great book to go more in-depth about great companies, but what you don’t want to miss is the section on Level 5 leaders. This book actually gives a different view on the memorable personality of a leader.