Five Qualities that Great Leaders Possess
There are a plethora of things that can make a leader good, but I’ve compiled a short list of traits that great leaders seem to have.
They take time to be alone.
Spending time with you, yourself and you is the first step to enhance your other qualities. Cutting out time every day, or even a few hours a week can bring clarity and perspective. Sometimes, we can get caught up in what we haven't accomplished. It’s very difficult to find clarity in the midst of confrontation. Great leaders are able to see the bigger picture once being alone for a while. Can you hear the mountains calling your name for an isolated weekend getaway yet?
Not only is passion contagious, but inspiring to those around you. There’s a reason why great leaders are great - they’re passionate about their cause. They find their white-hot-why. Overcoming obstacles becomes easier because they know the company has to move forward no matter what. Most may cringe at having to fire somebody, but when that somebody is getting in the way of the company’s ultimate goal, a great leader is ready to have that difficult conversation. You don’t have to be on Forbes’ 30 under 30 to have a great vision - high levels of passion can inspire those around you to be passionate as well.
Their visions aren’t small.
Having an enlarged idea is better for everyone. It can make you a dreamer, and it can provide jobs for others. If you have a dream of opening up a restaurant, think about all of those you would need - a chef, servers, hosts, and so many more. As T.D. Jakes says, “If you can fulfill your dream by yourself, it’s much too small.” Not only does this man pastor a mega church and stay involved in the filming industry, but he also finds time for his wife and five kids as well. How could he possibly do it all on his own? He can’t! Running a successful business isn’t a one-man show.
They have EQ.
That’s right - emotional intelligence. How you read your own emotions and the emotions of those around you matters deeply. It’s a favorite subject for many leaders, including Danny Meyer (restaurateur) and Daniel Goleman (author). Say you’re leading a meeting at work, and you notice blank stares across the room. Are you being too technical? Or possibly not loud and engaging enough? It goes beyond simply having good social skills - you must be able to read your audience and meet them on their level.
They put others first.
When you stroll into work, are you thinking about how you can add value to those around you? Or how they can add value to you? Great leaders definitely lean towards the prior. Servant leadership and humility are natural to some but sought after by most. Abe Lincoln was mistaken for weak and awkward when in reality, he didn’t want to let his head inflate with the presidential status. This was no false modesty, but something hard to achieve without actively being aware. Loving and uplifting people is a priority only when you make it one.