Contrary to popular belief, leadership is not just about telling people what to do. Leadership is a complex art form that takes a lot of hard work to excel at. Here are some of the qualities great leaders are known to have.
Courage and Confidence
Great leaders, like Executive David Geithner, are known to possess qualities like courage and confidence. Courage is not being outspoken or brash, it’s a quality that is much more complex than that. Courage is having the willpower to do things even if they cause you fear, pain or some other kind of discomfort. An example of being courageous is being able to admit to your subordinates when someone else has found a better solution to a problem than what you originally believed would be best. Another example of courage is, as a leader, establishing a back and forth transference of ideas between yourself and your subordinates. Leadership isn’t always about delegating tasks to others, sometimes it’s about listening to those around you and assessing what the best ideas generated by a group of people are.
This leads us to confidence. Again, confidence isn’t as simple a quality as many people might expect. Confidence is not being an exhibitionist who thinks they’re absolutely perfect all the time. Confidence is trusting yourself and your abilities. It’s about believing in yourself and what you’re capable of. It takes a lot of confidence to admit mistakes and realize that they don’t define you, for example. Everyone makes mistakes, after all. Confident leaders learn from their mistakes and turn them into something greater. They use their past mistakes to improve their own futures and the futures of their subordinates.
Passion and Ambition
Leadership is also about passion and ambition. A leader needs to inspire subordinates to try and reach greater achievements. There’s no better way to inspire those around you than by being passionate about what you’re doing. If your subordinates see that you care deeply about what you’re doing, they’re a lot more likely to care about what they’re doing as part of your team. This is because they’ll know you’ll actually take an interest in their contributions. They know you’re not just at the office waiting for the clock to strike five.
As a leader, you also need to have ambition. Your team needs to know that you have goals in mind and what those goals are. Without goals, there’s no way forward because your team won’t know what they need to aim to achieve. If you have no goals, it would be like setting out on a trip with no destination in mind. Sure, it might be fun, but it wouldn’t be efficient because you’d have to figure out a destination while already on your way, which may cause you to need to re-route your entire trip.
Great leaders are passionate. They have the ambition to think about and set goals ahead of time, while also having the courage and confidence to change their plans if new information makes it necessary to do so.