What makes a great leader, great?

Countless adjectives can be used to describe a great leader, and while our definitions of leadership may differ, we all know a great leader when we see one. Think of a great leader that you respect… what makes you admire them? What skills do you think they possess?

You don’t have to be the CEO of a company, or start a movement, to be a leader. Leadership is demonstrated by how we live our lives day-to-day.

Below are six qualities of great leaders that, with practice, you can master:

  1. Confidence – It gives great leaders the ability to get things done. By remaining calm and self-assured, you as a leader, will assist in keeping the team feeling the same. Remember: your team will be observing you, so if you radiate a level of confidence, your team will pick up on that vibe. This way, when they hit a bump in the road, they have the confidence to know they will figure it out or attain the right resources to do so. The goal is to keep the entire team working and moving ahead.

  2. Inspirational – Great leaders inspire action into their team. They do what it takes to set their team up for success. However, a great leader also acknowledges the work that has been given and applauds the team on each their contributions. It is the job of a leader to keep spirits up, and that begins with an appreciation for the hard work.

  3. High-Integrity – All of the greatest leaders have led by example. They have resilient values and can be counted on to be dependable, truthful and fair-minded. A great leader makes ethical choices, they practice what they preach, and support their team in doing the same.

  4. Communication – As a leader, being able to clearly explain your vision and what you want done is extremely important. If you can’t properly communicate this, the team won’t all be working toward the same goal. Great leaders listen to their team, and establish systems and routines to ensure ease of communications throughout their organization.

  5. Positive Outlook – One of the most important qualities a great leader can possess is being able to use positive thinking to motivate others. Leaders see opportunity in every challenge. They keep the entire team focused on a successful future while helping them overcome obstacles.

  6. Tenacity – Persistence is everything. Great leaders refuse to let temporary setbacks derail them. When working toward a goal, a tenacious leader demonstrates drive, while having remarkable determination until the goal is achieved. People admire a tenacious leader because it lets them know their effort won’t go to waste if reaching their target is more difficult – or takes longer than predicted.

A quick way to up your game is to select a couple areas where you would like to improve, and practice the actions indicated above. Pay attention to the changes you witness. Developing and consistently using your leadership skills is a commitment that will greatly benefit you through the course of your life. Leadership is about guiding ourselves just as much as it is about guiding others, too.

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