Want to learn how to be a great leader?
We’d all love to be excellent leaders; to inspire and motivate those around us, to be respected and admired, to lead with conviction and authority. Being a great leader is, as we all know, often easier said than done. There seems to be a certain set of indefinable qualities that we find within great leaders. Sometimes we can put our finger on it; other times, it eludes us.
Despite our occasional inability to define what it is exactly that makes a great leader great, one thing is certain: all great leaders possess certain qualities that propel them to “Great Leader” status. Let’s take a look at what some of those qualities are:
Push and Pull
One thing that everyone can agree on is that inspiration is the pull and motivation is the push.Great leaders will inspire as well as After inspiring team members, sometimes a leader witnesses a team member who seems to have lost motivation. A great leader will now motivate that person to action. A doer, on the other hand, will take upon themselves to get the job done; a project manager will give it to someone else; a great leader will find out why it is not getting done and motivate the team member to get it done. Great leaders empower.
To be anointed a leader, you first have to be perceived as one. Think of the king of the jungle – the lion. By no means is the lion the smartest, strongest or even bravest animal out there, so why is he deemed “the king?” The lion certainly possesses genuine power, and an image – majestic, charismatic and strong – and related behaviour that serves to effectively communicate that power. All great leaders look like they belong, whether it’s a combination of dress, grooming, demeanour, fitness, or the creation of great first impressions.
When we first meet someone, we immediately answer two questions: “Can I trust this person?” and “Can I respect this person?” – trust and competence, respectively. We do not value both of these questions equally, and in fact, we value trust above all else. Historically, our ancestors needed to determine whether an outsider posed as a threat immediately, before they determined whether this person could be an asset to their group. Often times when we introduce ourselves to others, we are focused on showing our competence, when people are really looking for our warmth. Great leaders know this and focus primarily on building relationships on trust, especially in the beginning. After all, trust is a conduit of influence.
It takes much more to be a great conversationalist than knowing what words to use and when; being a great conversationalist comes down to one’s ability to Great leaders talk less and listen more, and when they do speak, they ask questions.
All great leaders possess different but strong leadership skills that make them the inspiring, motivational leaders that they are. Once this is certain, however: all great leaders possess presence. We know it when we see it. The great thing about presence is that it can be learned; presence is neither exclusive nor elusive.