When we read the term, ‘great leader’, we immediately picture leaders like Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, and many more. We always get inspired by their life journeys and often follow their virtues of life. But very few of us wonder, what made them a ‘great leader’? We may find it a mystery. However, there are a few things which are common among them.
They are aware. They are aware of their capabilities. They are aware of their flaws and they are always willing to work on them. They do not blame their flaws for their failure. Instead, they work harder to convert these
Powerful leaders listen. When working in a team, they keep their ears and eyes open for novel ideas. For them, no idea is silly. They give importance to every ones’ opinion. They are always the last one to speak. By doing this, they make sure that every person gets the opportunity to speak.
Another identical feature is that they radiate positive energy. This means, their aura is so powerful that once they start speaking, no one ignores them.
They seem approachable. Even when Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, opened its dozens of stores, he was so approachable that he used to talk to almost every employee in his office. Maybe, because of this quality, he became even more successful!
One more similarity is that a great leader can convert a hundred negatives, into one positive. One of the best examples is Adolf Hitler. He was, at one point covered by his enemies from all four sides. When his subordinate informed him about this ‘problem’, he said, “Excellent! Now we can attack in any direction.” This is the difference between a follower and a leader. Leaders, convert the ‘problems’ into ‘opportunities’.
They have the ability to take responsibility. Leaders not only have good decision-making skills, but they also take responsibility for these decisions’ consequences. They have the courage to accept their mistakes.
They don’t dwell in the past or daydream about their future. They work in the present. Their focal point is on problem-solving instead of worrying about not being efficient enough. The term ‘What if’ does not even surface their mind.
They may not wear branded clothes or accessories, but they are so self-confident that they naturally attract everyone.
When we mention a powerful leader’s name it is taken for granted that they are also an effective communicator. They have the expertise to communicate on all levels; starting from a one on one interview to mass public speaking.
They encourage originality and are fearless enough to take the risks. The excitement of learning something new conquers the fictional fear of failure.
Dwight Eisenhower truly said, “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a football field, in an army, or in an office.”
Quality of being honest, upright, and having strong moral principles is not something that is common these days. But people who did attain this quality, we, today, refer to them as great leaders.
Our history remembers such powerful leaders not because of who they were or where they came from, but because of what they did for the common good of people.