Do You Have What It Takes To Be a Great Leader
In today’s time and age people have started talking about leadership and things related to it. Millennials are shunning rudimentary opinions, perceptions, and theories of leadership and tend to prefer a realistic style of leadership. They look up to someone who isn’t just a great leader but also not afraid to be vulnerable or weak at the same time.
Instead of blindly following someone with a fancy title, they understand that true leadership lies in small things, actions, and habits. They don’t just admire them but also wish to become one of them.
And, this brings me to our today’s topic where I would like to talk about the skills and qualities an individual must possess to become a great leader.
So, here are my two cents:
- Become passionate about your job, not rewards
It’s important to be passionate about your job in order to give your hundred percent to it. You can only perform par excellence and show light to others if you have a strong hold on your craft.
Every great leader — whether it was Abraham Lincoln or Steve Jobs — were hands down dedicated to their purpose of service which later on played an instrumental role in making them one of the greatest leaders in the world.
Mark Zuckerberg said something very relevant, “We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”
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2. Don’t think who is right, determine what is right
Any leadership role brings a lot of responsibility with it. You can only do justice with these responsibilities if you are honest and have a firm adherence to your code of moral values.
Simply put, it’s about doing the right thing even when it’s not convenient for you or acknowledged by others — exactly what a leader is expected to do.
Leadership is much less about what you do and much more about who you are. If you view leadership as a bag of manipulative tricks or charismatic behavior to advance your personal interest, then people have every right to be cynical. But if your leadership flows first from inner character and integrity of ambition, then you can justly ask people to lend themselves to your organization and mission.
3. Instead of thinking only about yourself, start including others.
We see leaders as authoritarians and associate them with a certain level of assertiveness. However, a true leader is someone who focuses on building trust and taking people together by understanding their needs. Empathy is an effective way to achieve this.
Empathy is an essential trait that helps you to understand another person’s state of mind, perspective, and feelings by stepping into their shoes. Though a soft skill, but it can make you quite an effective leader.
Oprah Winfrey once said, “Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.”
4. Don’t put others down, rather lift them up
It’s an art to be able to lead through influence than authority. The influence converts to inspiration when is coupled with strong coaching, effective communication, and skill development.
As a leader, it’s your duty to inspire others and instill faith that they can become leaders too. Go out of your way to know if others need your help or not — it’s the sign of an effective leadership.
“Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could”, said Steve Jobs.
5. Focus on solutions, not on problems
Every line of work comes with its own set of problems but the job of a leader is to identify them in advance and have a backup in place already. You have to put your knowledge, experience, and intuition to test and come up with a plan which is absolutely foolproof.
Great leaders understand that focusing on problems brings more problems but focusing on solutions opens up opportunities. Having a solution-centric approach is definitely one of the must-have qualities for a kickass leader.
6. Understand the fine line between confidence and cockiness
Both self-assurance and leadership go hand in hand. Having innate confidence in your abilities help you make the best choices in your personal and professional world.
On the other hand, people won’t see you as a great leader if you’re always blowing your own trumpet. Great leaders know the tactics to balance the tightrope between confidence and cockiness.
They understand the fact that each one of us has our own strengths and areas of opportunities. Thus, instead of pitting yourself against others, it’s better to put that energy on your self-improvement.
7. Be bold and humble
In leadership, it is easy to develop an inclination for power, praise, and status. However, true leaders tend to think more about others than themselves. As Rick Warren once said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
I’ve had a chance of working with some great leaders before ProofHub. Each one of them was selfless and were more concerned about their teams than collecting personal titles for their own branding.
Talking about humble leadership, I am reminded by words of Kathy Heasley who said, “Leadership is being bold enough to have a vision and humble enough to recognize achieving it will make efforts of many.”
Over to you
I strongly feel that anyone can become a leader, provided you’re willing to put in the hard work. I hope you agree with these leadership qualities.
Is there one that we missed but you think is worth mentioning? Let us know in the comments.
Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder and CEO of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. He’s one person always on a lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams, and organizations. You’ll find him saying, “Let’s go!” instead of “Go!” many times a day. That’s what makes him write about leadership in a way people are inspired to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.