Many things constitute greatness in leaders; personally, I believe that we all are born with leadership qualities in us, however, it is up to us to activate our innate leadership powers.
True leadership is really about 'drive' combined with a 'solid character' or what is generally refered to as integrity … especially for leaders who wish to perform long-term in their field.
Here are 8 things that great leaders do:
1. Leaders empathize, they do not criticize.
2. Leaders inspire others to want to be better and do better … and then create a positive and productive atmosphere for others to excel in.
3. Leaders are respectful of everyone on their teams, recognizing that individuals play different roles in turning the wheels of success. Good leaders value individuality and capitalize on individual talents.
4. Leaders do everything in their power to build and develop themselves and team members – they inspire excellence, productivity, trust, focus, etc. They do not command.
5. True leaders always put the good of their team ahead of their personal good.
6. Good leaders (the truly great ones) often are an uncanny mix of humility and resolve.
7. Great leaders are strong enough to credit others for successful results and not always themselves. So called 'leaders' who tend to self-praise are simply power mongers or lime-light seekers. The team members' efforts is what makes leaders successful. Hence, real leaders are big on recognition … praising and acknowledging 'achievers' on their team is second nature.
8. Real leaders are positive role models, they never violate the trust people put in them.
The leaders everyone remembers are those who drive and encourage them to become better. As you lead, be results-driven, but also go the extra mile of caring about the individuals you work with. Help them develop from the platform of themselves not yourself. Leadership is very rewarding and so very fulfilling – by rejecting mediocrity in yourself and others, you can truly propel your team to greatness. These are lessons I have learned over time, I am still working on perfecting the art of leadership.
There is a difference between what makes winners win and what makes leaders great. An individual could be a winner and not be a leader – i.e. high achievers are not necessarily 'great leaders'. But in order to be a great leader, you must also be a winner. The lasting legacy of real leadership is priceless.