What makes a Great Leader…well, Great?

Business Partners Shaking HandsBy JoAnne Foist

Think for a moment about the greatest leaders you know…what makes them stand out from the pack?

While many adjectives can be used to describe a great leader, and our definitions of leadership might differ, we all know a great leader when see one. Think of the leader you most admire…how do they make you feel and what skills do you think they possess?

Do you want to be known as an exceptional leader? I sure hope so. You don’t have to run a company or start a revolution to be a leader; leadership is demonstrated by how we live our lives everyday. Below are seven habits of great leaders that, with practice, you can master.

Seven Habits of Great Leaders

  1. Confident – Great leaders have confidence in their ability to get things done. And when they do not have previous experience with an initiative or challenge, they have the confidence to know they will figure it out and/or procure the right resources to do so.
  1. Inspirational – Great leaders inspire action. They inspire their team to be the best they can be and they help them get there. They do what it takes to set their team up for success.
  1. High-Integrity – Great leaders lead by example. They have strong values and can be counted on to be consistent, honest and fair. They make ethical choices, they practice what they preach and support their team in doing the same.
  1. Communicators – Great leaders are kind, smart and courageous in their communications. They are proactive and inclusive communicators who go the extra mile to create clear (and often concise) messages in order to ensure everyone understands the vision, goals, direction, etc. Great leaders listen to their team and establish systems and habits to ensure ease of communications throughout their organization and customer base. Great leaders also realize that revolutionary ideas can come from anywhere and so they communicate with everyone!
  1. Positive – Great leaders use optimal thinking to motivate others and focus on a successful future. They see the opportunity in every challenge and keep everyone focused on overcoming obstacles and continual growth.
  1. Tenacious – Great leaders demonstrate perseverance when pursuing their goals. They hold firm to their vision and see it through to completion. They accept roadblocks, pitfalls and hurdles as obstacles to overcome – not reasons to quit.
  1. Supportive – Great leaders follow the platinum rule. They support their team the way the team needs to be supported and they provide a safe environment to work and share ideas. They encourage and support risk taking and challenge the status quo. They care about the well-being and success of each team member.

Using these traits as a barometer, how great is your leadership? A quick way to up your game is to select a few areas where you aren’t so successful and practice the behaviors indicated. Pay attention to the changes you witness.  Leadership is about leading ourselves as much as it is leading others and developing your leadership skills is an investment that pays dividends through the course of your life.

Take the first step in building leadership muscle by registering for our free training class on Building Incredible Confidence. You can start by downloading our free eBook, “The Confidence Habit.” It’s full of tips for developing your confidence and, by applying just a few of the techniques mentioned you will begin feeling more bold and seeing the response to your improved skill.

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If you are a high-performing professional who is interested in being more successful in EVERYTHING you do; then check out Excelerate’s Powerful Presence Program. It is a very unique program designed for people who have a track record of success and who want to exponentially grow their business or advance their career to the executive level.

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