For years people have been trying to uncover what makes a great leader and there are as many theories as there are grains of sand on the beach!
One reason for that is that everyone has tried to complicate it and the facts are that it is not complicated at all. In fact it is rather easy once you peel away all the myths floating around out there. Here are the facts!
Fact number one is that a simple and quick Google Search on the Internet shows results for 437,000,000 leadership training websites and 44,000,000 results for leadership seminar websites.
Fact number two is that hundreds of millions of people attend leadership training not just once but many times over the course of their careers.
Fact number three is that there are not hundreds of millions of great leaders in the world!
So then what makes a great leader if these three facts are true?
The facts are that a leader has a quality within them that is not taught; however, it can be refined. Just as not everyone can throw a 90 mile an hour fastball for a strike no matter how much training and effort is put into them not everyone can be a great leader!
Those that have been great leaders all have the very same qualities that were not acquired from any type of training. There is no question that places like the Harvard, Yale, West Point, and others have had great leaders attend their training but I would not ascribe to the fact that they made them great leaders. What they did was refine that inner part of them that already existed. I would suggest that if by attending any of these schools created a great leader then everyone, or at least a majority, that attended would be great leaders. Is that true? Of course not!
So then again I ask if having the best education doesn’t make a great leader then what makes a great leader?
Maybe it’s money and power?
Money and power by themselves can certainly influence people to follow but it is for all the wrong reasons. People are not following the person they are following the money and power; therefore, the person is not a great leader!
Truly great leaders have within them the ability to visualize what things can become. In addition, great leaders are able to influence others to see that same vision and because of their passion and commitment to that vision others want to follow.
Integrity is the other key ingredient to what makes a leader great! Remember that integrity is not merely being honest it is a set of moral convictions that one lives by and does not waver from. People want someone to believe in and when someone comes along that has strong convictions and is not swayed by every passing whim people will gravitate towards them. Those following want to be a part of something bigger than themselves!
Therefore, the making of a great leader is the ability to visualize and have integrity! If a person possesses these two traits, education will do wonders to make them even a greater leader!
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”If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more… then you are a leader” – John Quincy Adams.
Many would argue there is nothing that makes a leader great, others will say it’s a myth – truly great leaders don’t exist. A leader is just an ordinary person who is thrust in an extraordinary situation, learning how to deal with these special circumstances along the way.
Yet great leadership isn’t a myth but a fact… some people work on it while others have in-born qualities that help pave the way to success. So, what makes a leader ‘great’ in his chosen field?
Able to Make the Hard and Often Unpopular Choice
Great leaders know they will have to make hard choices sometime but aren’t afraid of taking those decisions. Self-sacrifice also comes in the bargain of being a great leader, enhancing lives of others around them in the process.
Owner of Nintendo once slashed his own pay to half so that employees wouldn’t have to suffer. Same is the case with most startups… many CEOs and managers are content with less than half of their pay during the first few months of their startup. A leader also knows when to let people go – and does the job graciously.
Have Innovative Ideas about Future of the Business
Innovation is important for the survival and success of any business. Innovation will take any business to new heights considering the system has infinite expansion possibilities! Yet every business also has finite resources that must be put to the right and effective way, which is what a great leader is responsible for achieving.
Great leadership begins and ends with innovation - look toward the future and aligning the entire workforce towards it.
Is Humble Towards Others But Also Strong and Decisive
Humility shouldn’t be confused with being weak. Being humble even when there is every reason to take pride in yourself or your work is a great quality!
Humility in the face of adversity helps get results. Humility is a leadership characteristic that makes leaders ‘great’ and effective in their work. Want to influence others? Being humble is the first stepping stone! Remember, there is a difference to being humble and unsure…
Is Capable of Making Good Business Decisions via Strategic Planning
Great leaders are really effective at planning strategically. What does this mean? Strategic planning doesn’t necessarily mean to plan ahead… but plan ahead keeping the full picture in mind.
This is really important as the ability to look ahead and anticipate future trends lets a business know and prepare for this – judging from where the industry and markets are going.
Not all managers and CEOs are great leaders. Yet these qualities can also be learned and adopted! However, you have to start somewhere, usually from the ground and going up.
Thank you for reviewing this information on what makes a great leader.