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What It Takes To Be A Great Leader

Jim McIsaac / Staff

Great leaders communicate a vision that captures the imagination and fires the hearts and minds of those around them. -Joseph B. Wirthlin

From the outside looking in, it seems like those in positions of leadership hold themselves well-collected, but in reality, every leader struggles within themselves. They face adversity, self-doubt, and scrutiny that changes them in someway. For some, this impacts their ability to lead while for others it drives them.

Leaders take on many forms. Not every leader is the same. You never pick someone off the street and say, “he is a leader because he wears glasses.” Rather, we pick leaders out from crowds because of their voices and their demeanor. There is also no right way to be a great leader, but there are key traits that many great leaders possess. 

To begin, great leaders are accountable. They are always doing the work that needs to be done without being asked. They are the ones who do what is necessary for the betterment of the organization or team. You can think of accountable leaders as those who “lead by example.” In my opinion, these are the strongest of leaders, due to their ability to do what is necessary. 

Great leaders also possess great passion for what they do. If there is no passion in the work being done, there is no care for the outcome and bigger picture. You, as someone in a position of leadership, have to possess more energy, excitement, positive attitude, and so much more for the work being done, so that the rest of your team follows in your steps. Without leaders who express great passion for the goals trying to be achieved, the system itself fails to accomplish it. 

Humility is also a trait that ALL great leaders need to have. Great leaders understand that it is not about themselves, but about the achievement that is trying to be obtained. It is about the person to the left and to the right of you. Understanding that, even though you have been put in a position to lead others, does not mean that you are above those you are leading. Great programs and organizations have leaders who understand they are equal to those around them. 

Remember that just because you are a different kind of leader, it does not make you a bad leader. If you can lead with humility, passion, and accountability, you are leading your team into a great direction. Never feel like you are a bad leader because you do not resemble a leader you once knew or currently know. You are your own person and leadership does not change you.