Have you ever looked up to someone, like an employer, teacher, or mentor, that has left a lasting impression on you? When you think of a leader, who comes to mind? More importantly, what qualities of that leader come to mind?
Integrity? Accountability? Creativity?
I find myself thinking, what do all leaders have in common?
Well, I’m going to share with you the top qualities of leaders and why these traits are so important. If you are searching for more ways to implement leadership into your life or business or want to learn how to become a leader, these are the qualities to adopt.
When you think about going after your dreams, what’s the number one thing stopping you? Well, for me, at one point in life, it was fear. Fear can sometimes seem to get the best of us when we’re not sure what’s on the other side. So, when I think of the people that were instrumental in helping me and my business partner, Glen, get Mind Movies off the ground many years ago, I noticed something in them that I didn’t quite possess yet… The ability to be fearless.
When you are fearless, you are not afraid to fail. You allow yourself to stop overthinking and start taking action. Being fearless is to completely get out of your own way, opening yourself up to new possibilities and new opportunities. So to see the example of someone being fearless, inspired us to be fearless. It provided the can-do attitude we needed to make Mind Movies a success.
Want to know a hidden secret to productivity? The answer is passion. A leader is not only passionate about what he or she does, but just as passionate about the people involved too. You see, passion is truly one of those infectious traits that has the ability to mold and transform, even the most thriving businesses, allowing the people to thrive as well. Having a positive and upbeat attitude about what you do or sell only leads to more positivity in those around you. I’m sure we can all remember times working in an environment where the energy was low, and perhaps pessimism steered the conversations. So, leading with passion is a sure-fire way to get the morale and attitude of those around you to a high-frequency vibration.
When you lead a busy life or are running a business, taking a moment to stop and appreciate what you already have is the sign of an exceptional leader. When you are passionate about what you do, it may seem like your mind is always on autopilot, thinking of your next move. But to be able to give thanks and appreciation for what’s right in front of you is always the right decision. Gratitude is key to promoting optimism for yourself, but most importantly, for those around you. When you are not afraid to stop and give thanks, you are cultivating an environment in which people can feel valued and acknowledged, allowing them to truly blossom.
When you can understand how others are feeling, you are letting the universe know that you are opening yourself up as a trusted resource to someone else. As one of the key elements of Emotional Intelligence, empathy can be used as a catalyst in helping resolve and manage different situations. You are putting your ego aside to make room for meaningful connections that can foster better business and better relationships overall. You are able to build trust in letting people understand that their voices matter and are being heard. Empathy is paramount in creating long-lasting relationships.
Why is authenticity so important? Well, when you are authentic, you are able to understand and acknowledge what makes you, Y-O-U! Passion spawns authenticity, so the more you live life doing what you love, the truer you become to yourself, and the more you will lead to influence others. Think about it, a business venture, to many, is something you may take on for a substantial part of your life. When you are authentic in your endeavors, you are living and breathing a product or cause that is built on the foundation of your personal values. When you know yourself, you trust yourself. And when you trust yourself, it’s that much easier for others to trust you too. That means better engagement and relatability with your consumers, your employees, your friends, and even the strangers you meet on the street.
Yes, acknowledging and understanding a problem is a great quality, but what makes an exceptional leader is having that of a problem-solving mind. When you are faced with a problem, you understand that no problem is too big or too small. To instinctively go into problem-solving mode means you are always wanting to be better and to think smarter (not harder). When you possess this quality, your employees, business associates, friends, and even family members can see you as a reliable source. So thinking to solve allows others to trust you, your vision, and your instincts.
Consumers are wanting more honesty and more openness from brands. So understanding the power of communication is crucial to being the best leader you can be. Being a good communicator is one of the best ways to foster and harness excellent relationships at work and in your everyday life. When you are an effective communicator, this leaves little to no room for confusion or frustration. The ability to be open and honest about your goals, tasks, wants, and expectations, creates a safe space for learning. When everything is out in the open, those around you can feel that much more comfortable, because they no longer have to guess. This not only helps in boosting your confidence but also the confidence of those around you. They know what you expect and are that much more willing and able to execute successfully.
The ability to inspire is something that will never go unnoticed to those around you. I think of the leaders and mentors that have helped me, and what always seems to stand is that I start by saying, “He/she inspired me to…”. Things like being an active listener, offering advice, and simply caring, are all ways exceptional leaders can inspire. So, do you think you have what it takes to be a leader?
Well, I believe you do! :-) And because I believe in your power to lead, I’d like to share with you a free copy of my book, Never In Your Wildest Dreams.
We’re all on our way to becoming exceptional leaders, so this read is only going to help boost the limitless potential I know you have inside. So here’s to transforming our lives and becoming the kind of leaders we all look up to!
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.