As we venture into a world where change is a permanent thing, humanity will need people who will guide them through constant inventions and innovations in this unpredictable world. These are the leaders who carry the responsibility for the betterment of the people. They serve as the role model for the next generation.
However, the question that left people searching for an answer is “What Makes a Great Leader?”
Definition of a Leader
Before we jump into the essential characteristics of a great leader, let us first know the definition of a leader. A leader is “someone who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal.” A purpose is also a significant factor for a leader as he/she must realize that the goal they are aiming for will not be reached when they are working alone. A leader, of course, has people that will follow them. It is necessary for the leaders to gain the trust of their team which will allow them to work as one.
Characteristics of a Great Leader
Characteristics a leader must possess to achieve a more significant and more effective way of leading his/her people. These characteristics are quoted from a Forbes article entitled “10 Unique Perspectives On What Makes A Great Leader”:
Have Faith in Their Beliefs- A great leader has faith in both his/her own and other people’s beliefs. Having solid faith in your beliefs impacts your team. Your team wants to follow someone that believes and has a strong determination. Once you’ve team sees your faith and belief, trust, and productivity comes
“Leadership is all about being passionate about what you do, and having confidence in yourself and your followers whom you have to motivate and inspire.”
Matei Gavril, CEO at PrMediaOnline
Make the Hard Choice- A great leader is responsible for the welfare of their team. It will be necessary to make hard choices. The health of the business, your employees, and your family are paramount, and sometimes it requires hard, uncomfortable decisions.
“Great leaders make the hard choice, and self-sacrifice in order to enhance the lives of others around them”
Joel Farar, Farar Law Group
Earn the Respect of the Team- As they say “Respect begets respect,” a great leader respects his/her people’s opinions and ideas. He/she knows how to listen. The simple act of listening creates a connection between the leader and their team. This connection allows everyone to understand each other. It fosters a good relationship and prevents the creation of a division wherein the leader is superior, and his/her people are inferior.
“Having the ability to show respect, empathy, and care to those that follow you are all attributed to being a great leader”
Brandon Swenson, SEO Pros
Know the Team- Knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses are critical. Remember that your people are your greatest asset, and it is necessary to understand them better. A high level of knowing your team leads to the organized chemistry which is a significant factor in overcoming obstacles.
“Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of every individual to effectively manage the outcome of a team is imperative or success”
Alex Gerasimov, Insomnia Escape Room DC
Know that People are Key to Success- The people you lead are the reason you may find success. They are the ones who will stand by your side and help you go through hard times and good times. That is why a great leader surrounds themselves with great people that will work together as a team.
“A great leader understands that it is the people they lead that ultimately determines the success or failure of any venture”
Randy Soderman, Founder of Soderman Marketing SEO
Articulate a Clear Vision- A great leader is someone who has a clear vision with a strategized plan to achieve it. They must believe in the value of teamwork and will not afraid to admit mistakes. A great leader must accept that someone else can have a better idea for a goal.
“A great leader posses a clear vision, is courageous, has integrity, honesty, humility and clear focus”
Bhagi Rath, Mattress Inquirer, Do Your Research to Find a Great Bed
Push People to Be Their Best- A great leader has the characteristic of bringing out the best in people. This happens when a Leader inspires their people one heart at a time. Just by believing in their capabilities, a great leader can find a way to break the box which contains the full potential of their people. However, don’t forget to consider the emotions and safety of your people.
“Great leaders have clarity of purpose and are great at articulating their beliefs”
Amas Tenumah, CEO BetterXperience
Serve a Greater Cause- A great leader does not think for themselves. Instead, they think of other people on their team. It is humility that makes a great leader. Humility lights up the will to serve the greater good in all.
“Great leaders are incredibly ambitious, but never for themselves”
Jake Rheude, Director of Business Development for Red Stag Fulfillment
Focus on Helping the Team- A great leader lets optimism fill the whole team. They would never have a negative attitude that would fill the team with pessimistic thinking. A great leader does not focus on who is in charge but instead focuses on the goals of the organization and on keeping the team motivated.
“A great leader is someone who leads by positive direction and builds agreement among its group members towards the accomplishment of a coordinated goal”
Kara Kelly, Executive Director of CompleteContents.com
Do Not Lead by Force- It is a common misconception among people that leaders are the ones who give commands. That is why a great leader is someone who leads through motivation and by example. It is what followers look for in their leaders, a role model, someone who will do work besides them and venture to success as a group.
“A great leader does not lead by forcing people to follow. Instead, a great leader motivates people.”
Mike Dan, SMS Marketing
Now that the characteristics of a great leader have been covered we come to another question which is also frequently asked by people,
“Can Anyone Become a Leader?”
Well, according to John Mattone in his article “Can Anyone Become a Leader?”, Everyone possesses qualities of a leader. This means anyone from anywhere has the potential to be a leader. However, the only problem is, circumstances in life where one can shine and be recognized do not come to all people.
As for my own opinion, I believe that only those with their Heart and Head in the right place can become a leader.