Nelson Mandela, The Pope, Oprah, Steve Jobs… I’m sure you’ve got a fab list of great leaders too!
However, great leadership can be difficult to understand. Even great leaders have a difficult time explaining what makes their leadership so infectious and effective. It is their actions and words that undoubtedly make their great leadership noticeable.
I love finding out what makes people tick and I wanted to know what traits or behaviors others thought were in the fabric of a great leader. I polled our members and they weighed in with the amazing qualities they feel make up a great leader:
- “I think that Optimism is what makes a leader great. It is imperative that a leader have a positive mindset that they share to inspire others on their team and those they work with.” Valerie Ryan, IDLife
- “Great leaders always look to empower others, be it by education, guidance, or praise.” Mayra Betances, d&e Papel
- “I have been captain of cheerleading 3 times in my life, and coached for 10. For me it’s always about leading from example. You have to be what your subordinates aspire to be.” Janice Martinez Woerner, Jersey Girl Health and Wealth
- “Great leaders don’t make their family their excuse, they make them their reason to…succeed.” Renee Marshall-McKinley, Keep Yourself Smelling Sweet
- “A great leader listens to the individual and shares with them what they need to move ahead.” Susan Best Jones, S. Best Designs
- “A great leader is also a humble servant. When we can also be a humble servant, we show the art of support and team work through example.” Joanne Malley, JoanneMalley.com
- “A leader is someone who can easily communicate and delegate without feeling they have to be in control of everything. They help guide their employees and are happy to see their employees succeed.” Evy Havlik, Efficient Socially Savvy Media
- “A great leader motivates, inspires, empowers and encourages. A great leader does not run away from obstacles, passes blame or dwells on setbacks – but will say: let’s figure it out. A great leader is smart, resilient and energetic. A great leader is someone others are proud to work for and with!” Fran MacConnel, The Balanced Owl
I’ve learned that great leaders foster an environment of symbiotic growth (The teacher becomes the student mentality). Great leaders understand that ‘Team work, makes the dream work!” and also that another person’s success is also their success.
Great leaders welcome debate, criticism, and different perspectives other than their own. They understand that an environment where people are afraid to offer insights and/or ask good questions is destined for disaster.
Great leaders aren’t born, they are made.
What other traits or behaviors do you think define great leadership? Please leave me a comment below.