Leadership is a difficult thing to define. It comes in many different shapes, forms, and effectiveness. There have been tremendous leaders throughout our history, as well as, some disastrous ones. From c-level executives to community organizers, it takes a few people in charge to rally the troops towards a common goal. Without a leader, the pack has no purpose. That part is easy to identify, but identifying leadership potential just by looking at someone is near impossible.
There are a few basic traits that are found in almost every leaders. Things like being able to effectively communicate and having the special talent of motivating those around them. These are they day to day functions of every leader. The basics of being a leader are the same across the board. Be prepared, be poised, and look ahead. Those following your lead look for a strong foundation to put their trust in and it’s your duty to provide them with that.
Play to strengths and address weaknesses
Everyone, including the greatest leaders, have strengths and weaknesses. Leadership is defined by how those at the helm handle it. Gifted leaders are able to play up to the strengths of their team while simultaneously addressing weaknesses. Your team will not be good at everything. Some will be exceptionally skilled in areas that others are not – and vice versa. In order to be a great leader, you need to make the two work together. Identify the skills of those around you and mesh everyone together in a way to seamlessly blurs the lines between strengths and weaknesses. Cultivate a group of individuals who automatically help those in need, because we will all be there at one time or another.
Hard work, dedication, and various applicable soft skills make up the recipe of leadership. Unfortunately, there’s still one piece missing. True leadership is successful in part to an innate trait. Leadership is in engrained in your DNA. You either have what it takes or you crumble under the pressure. There’s something special about those who can lead the charge with grace and tact. That’s something you can’t be taught.
Once the dust settles, a leader is often defined by their vision and how much of that vision was accomplished. Greatness in leadership takes a great deal of forward thinking, seeing the bigger picture, and thinking outside of the box. All while pushing to a common goal. Without a visionary sitting in the driver’s seat, you won’t know what the end of the road looks like.