Be sure you check out on those before proclaiming yourself a leader. Better yet, try to be honest with yourself and see what leadership qualities you may be lacking – read on to find out.
Leadership is not a scientific object you can take apart and study. Despite what countless books on leadership may have to say, one simply cannot break it down into elements and create a ready-made guide on how to be a leader.
However, there are leaders – really great ones – out there, always have been and always will. What we can do is see if they all have something in common – some traits and qualities most of them (if not all) share.
It turns out, these qualities do exist and we are about to present them here for you.
The Great Big Three Leadership Qualities
We will start out with the main 3 things most leaders have in common. These things usually come hand in hand and are quite inseparable from one another. They are vision, mission, and passion.
Arguably, the most important thing that separates leaders from followers. During the course of this article, we’ll be using quotes a lot, and here goes the first one – from a true leader Henry Ford.
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
Cars and assembly lines do not exist in nature – Henry Ford had to envision them in his head first, before actually doing anything.
That’s the great thing about leaders – most of us have just one version of reality, which is “how it is.” We live our lives, use different tools, meet people, eat, sleep, drink, and have fun taking our environment for granted and not willing to change it much. Unless something goes way out of hand.
Leaders, on the other hand, have two versions of reality – “how it is” and “how it could be.” They are never 100% satisfied with what they see and do. That strive for constant improvement and innovation often marks the beginnings of a leader.
Take the first iPhone as an example – before it came out, people didn’t really have any problems with their smartphones having plastic keyboards. Not just consumers but manufacturers and industrial designers too. They could’ve gone on improving the existing technology for God knows how many more years, if iPhone hadn’t come out.
The mastermind behind the first iPhone and a leader, Steve Jobs, had a clear vision – of a phone that was stripped of the unnecessary medium (which was the plastic keyboard) and provided greater versatility and comfort to users.
It’s all in this video – just don’t cringe when you see all those 2006 Nokia and Motorola phones.
So, that is the first thing all leaders have – a clear vision of what they want to be, what they want to do, and, most importantly, how they want to do it.
Needless to say, it all comes from critical thinking. If you want to develop this quality, try being more critical, skeptical and at times even cynical about things.
Start with something small – like your office or room. Take a long, hard look at it and try to realize what you aren’t completely satisfied with. Then, come up with the ways of improving or rectifying that thing.
Most of us have to deal with tasks during our daily life. Make breakfast, take the kids to school, show up at the office, complete the project, go to the gym, get the car fixed, and so on. Although they’ve got to be done, these are things of mere importance.
However, it is very easy to get caught in these things and fail to see the BIG PICTURE.
From a leader’s perspective, what really matters in life is having a mission rather than a set of tasks or goals. There are hundreds of definitions of the term “mission” but the one that’s really plain and simple goes like this.
“Mission is what justifies your existence on this planet.”
Obviously, one can never fulfill his/her mission since it’s more of a direction than a destination.
What was Steve Jobs’ mission? We could only guess – perhaps, it was something along the lines of the mission statement used by Apple during his years.
“To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.”
Want an example of a personal mission statement? Here’s one from a person you might know, Sir Richard Branson, founder of The Virgin Group and a well-known leader.
“To have fun in [my] journey through life and learn from [my] mistakes.”
Yep, that’s Richard Branson fulfilling his mission. What makes you think you can’t?
The last one in the Holy Trinity of leadership qualities is passion. Being passionate about something doesn’t mean shouting big words and waving your hands around feverishly.
For leaders, passion usually means total, unquestionable commitment to their work. No matter what may happen, a leader will always be passionate about his or her work – even during the lowest of the lows, they will still find a way to light up that match and turn in back into a huge fire.
Not only that, but leaders are also keen to share their passion with others, most importantly their partners, subordinate, and peers.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a guide on how to become passionate about something. Like love, it just happens. However, there is a certain correlation – people can rarely become and stay passionate about something they don’t truly love and appreciate.
So, in order to find your passion, you simply shouldn’t do what you don’t like or don’t feel completely satisfied with.
As Donald J. Trump once put it, in his recognizable manner:
“Without passion, you don’t have energy, without energy you have nothing.”
Those were the “great big three” leadership qualities. Now let’s take a look at some more qualities – although not as crucial as these three, you would still find yourself struggling to have on your way to becoming a leader.
Leadership Qualities That Matter Just As Much As The “Holy Trinity”
There are so many of leadership qualities, to be honest, but the ones that matter the most are:
- not being afraid of making mistakes
Let’s talk about them in detail.
Becoming a leader means being able to change yourself and those around you. Remaining a leader requires pretty much the same.
Great leaders are innovators simply because they know the true price of success and growth – in order to get something new, you need to sacrifice something old.
You will never hear words like “back in the day…” or “when I was young…” from a true leader. They appreciate the power of change and innovation and believe that constant innovation is the key to the survival of a person, a company, a society, or a country.
Not Being Afraid of Making a Mistake
Innovation requires risking. Where there’s risk, there’s a chance for mistake. If you are not ready to deal with the possibility of failing at whatever you’re up to, it’s not going to be easy to become a leader for you.
One thing that all leaders have in common is that they have all made mistakes – colossal, tragic, or even stupid mistakes. Has it made them less confident? Not a single bit.
Taking risks and accepting the possibility of failing is a must-have quality for any leader.
Rather obvious, this one. Being a leader means you are responsible not only for yourself (which is tough enough in its own right) but for other people.
Leaders never blame circumstances or their subordinates for the mistakes and failures that may happen. Instead, they take it all on themselves and learn from what has happened in order to gain even more strength and knowledge.
Great leaders inspire other people. They know the true power of words and actions. That’s why leaders are never short of a compliment or kind words to the ones around them.
Here’s a quote from Chuck Norris – a man you’d better listen to when he speaks.
“I will say nothing if I have nothing good to say about a person.”
Thanks for making it to the end of today’s «The Great Big 3 Leadership Qualities You Wish You Had» article – let’s hope it will motivate you enough to become the leader you’ve always wanted to be. Just don’t forget to credit us when you become famous:).
Meanwhile, here’s another great piece off our blog you might enjoy – «Top 7 Productivity Techniques – The Ones That Actually Work». Be sure to read that as well and stay tuned for more quality content from Screenshot Monitor.