Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. -Jack Welch
Whether we are aware of it or not, we all are leaders in some respects. No particular title is required to be a leader. As parents we are leaders to our children, as teachers, to our students, as a boss at a workplace, to our team and so on. Leadership opportunities exist wherever we look, from mundane tasks such as planning a vacation or helping out with our child’s soccer team, to more grandiose responsibilities such as running a nation or a business.
A successful leader smoothly and effectively accomplishes a goal without raising any temperatures. It behooves us therefore to work on ourselves to grow as a leader. For being a successful leader brings value both to our life and to that of others.
Listed below are 12 qualities to inculcate within you as you work on becoming a leader. All these traits will win you respect from others, a necessary ingredient in being a leader.
1.A leader adapts! A leader is someone who cannot sit still. They need to be constantly on the move. Be it acquiring a new skill, availing of an opportunity, letting go of things that are not working, or planning one step ahead of where they currently are. Faced with a new boss who could potentially make problems for them, they swiftly make an exit without burning any bridges.
“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.” -Stewart Brand
2. A leader has a robust support system which they can count on during any emotional, financial and physical set-backs. Knowing that they are not alone and there are others who have their back frees them to take risks. If they are not blessed with this support system, they have the drive and the ability to create one.
The two most important areas of your life are your faith and your family. -Bill Snyder
3. A leader is well-read. Most leaders read books and/or are aware of events happening around them. They learn from the mistakes of others, are good at anticipating situations and continuously work on honing their ability to predict the future drifts.
“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” -Harry S. Truman
4. A leader is good at blocking the noise, the obstacles that are hindering their path. They will spend time only on the ones that obstruct them from reaching their goals.
Ask this question: Does it really matter? It’ll save you much angst over half the things you are worried about. Most of them don’t matter..really. -Henry Cloud
5. A leader is not afraid to jump in and get their hands dirty. If a problem they encounter is outside of their knowledge base, they have the knack to pull together resources that can assist in resolving the issue.
A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. -Douglas McArthur
6. A leader does not boast. Most times they know more than they let on. They are good at reading people, an ability acquired with much practice and determination.
Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.-Martin Luther King Jr.
7. A leader makes a conscious effort to learn from his/her failures and move on. They do not dwell on the failures of their past. They have the ability to self-motivate. They feel the pain and push themselves to rise above it. They typically have a lot of motivational books and support tools handy.
Don’t think about your errors or failures; otherwise you will never do a thing- Bill Murray
8. A leader is prepared at all times. For all eventualities. They practice effective time management and value time. It does not mean that they are always on the go. It just means that when they are relaxing on the beach, it is something that they have deemed as necessary for them.
I will prepare and someday my chance will come.-Abraham Lincoln
9. A leader is self-aware and knows his or her strengths and weaknesses. They will take on more of the tasks they are good at and a back seat on the ones that they are not. For the ones they are not, silently and steadily, they work to bring up their knowledge and skill to the manageable level.
As a leader, the first person I need to lead is me. The first person I should try to change is me. -John C. Maxwell
10. A leader takes initiative. But not to the point where they will stress and exhaust themselves. They take on only things that they can handle without much additional effort.
Without initiative, leaders are simply workers in leadership positions.-Robert Frost Bennet
11. A leader is self-disciplined. They need to be in order to continue moving forward in the face of uncertainties and failures. They have a routine that they adhere to at all times with some of it including tasks that they might be more than happy to skip.
The one quality which sets one man apart from another – the key which lifts one to every aspiration while others are caught up in the mire of mediocrity – is not talent, formal education, nor intellectual brightness. It is self-discipline.
With self-discipline, all things are possible. Without it, even the smallest goal can seem like the impossible dream. -Theodore Roosevelt
12. A leader is healthy. They are disciplined in their habit of keeping their body healthy. They eat healthy, exercise and get their sleep. A leader requires mental stamina which can only be sustained by a fit body.
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. -Jim Rohn