A lot of time is spent in our leadership classes discussing how we define leadership and what characteristics make a great leader. I recently read a blog that I thought brought out some really good points on the things a great leader should possess. Here is a summary of what the blog discussed:
1. The Leader’s Greatest Victory — Victory over Self.
Followers tend to think of themselves first, leaders have learned to put others ahead of themselves.
2. The Leader’s Greatest Asset — Confidence.
Confidence in oneself is the cornerstone of successful leadership. Only those who believe in themselves have enough optimism to see the best in those around them. Self-confidence breeds confidence in others.
3. The Leader’s Greatest Weight — Final Responsibility.
A leader bears full responsibility for whatever happens. He or she does not place blame on advisors or any other contributing factor. It is his or her responsibility and his or hers alone.
4. The Leader’s Greatest Discipline —Taking Time to Think.
One of the reasons people do not grow as leaders is that they try to change their results without changing their thinking. Our lives today are a result of our thinking yesterday, and our lives tomorrow will be determined by what we think today. If we desire to rise above our circumstances and to move up to another level in our careers, then we need to improve our thinking.
5. The Leader’s Greatest Handicap — Pride.
. Always wanting the credit for success, prideful leaders push others aside to seize the spotlight. As a result, they alienate their best people, who end up looking for another team on which their hard work will not be taken for granted.
6. The Leader’s Greatest Opportunity — Today.
We have a tough time forgetting opportunities that have slipped through our fingers. We continually bring up what might have been or what should have been as if by replaying it enough we could somehow change the outcome. However, the more we relive the past, the further we drift from today’s opportunities.
7. The Leader’s Greatest Loss — Hope.
One of the most powerful, energizing words in the English language is “hope.” Hope is a power that keeps us going in the toughest times of life. It takes obstacles and transforms them into possibilities.
8. The Leader’s Greatest Mistake — Putting Self before Others.
Habitual self-absorption is a surefire recipe for ineffectiveness as a leader. Success is determined by the seeds we sow, not by the harvest we reap.
9. The Leader’s Greatest Prayer — Wisdom.
As a leader, you will be put in situations in which you have no prior experience. You will be forced to make key decisions, under conditions of extreme uncertainty, which affect the livelihood and wellbeing of others. In these moments, you will be far better suited to lead if you have made a habit of pursuing knowledge. Lifelong learners have an edge over the competition, for they’re constantly acquiring new skills and insights that others lack the energy and discipline to obtain.
10. The Leader’s Greatest Joy — Adding Value to Others.
Many people consider the greatest good of leadership to be the accomplishment of audacious vision: building a business, winning a championship, etc. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with achieving one’s career goals, the richest, most rewarding aspect of leadership always involves relationships. Trophies eventually collect dust and sooner or later we must vacate positions of influence. What truly lasts is the legacy we etch into the lives around us. What brings the greatest joy and satisfaction is enriching the lives of those we love by adding value to them.