What is the Essence of leadership? What are the qualities one must posses to be a truly great leader? It seems throughout history going back thousands of years, there are essential qualities of character every great leader possessed. Regardless of how much the world changes around us. The essence of leadership remains the same.
The Essence of Leadership
“Your actions speak so loudly, I can not hear what you are saying”~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lead by example: If your actions are not consistent with your message, you will have no credibility. When you lead by example, your words become secondary to your actions.
“The price of greatness is responsibility.”~ Winston Churchill
Be the first to take responsibility, and the last to take credit: Great leaders always take ultimate responsibility for everything under their charge. They do not make excuses for failure, they accept it, and learn from it. When it comes to their accomplishments, they know their team is the key to accomplishing anything great. Therefore, they always give credit to their team first and foremost.
“Give a man a fish you can feed him for a day, Teach a man how to fish you can feed him for a lifetime.”~ Unknown
Share your knowledge: Great leaders teach their teams to be self reliant. They know that the most important measure of a teams success, is how effective they are when their leader is not present. They teach them how to think for themselves, and to overcome obstacles on their own.
“To know what you know, and what you do not know, that is true knowledge”~ Confucius
Know, what you don’t know: A great leader possesses true knowledge. They do not claim to know everything, They know when to consult with an expert, and how to find one.
Listen to many, Speak to few~ William Shakespeare.
Listen: Great leaders, are great listeners, they spend more time listening than talking. They are constantly gathering information, Keeping their finger on the pulse of their team, and the world around them.
“The wise person puts himself last, and thereby finds himself first”~ Lao Tzu
Put your teams needs before your own: Great leaders know that they are there to support their team, not the other way around. They layout the strategies and tactics that will be used to achieve their goals. Then they step back and let the team execute.
“The enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution”~ Sun Tzu
Never get complacent: Great leaders treat smooth periods of success, like the calm before the storm. While they celebrate success, they are still planning for the future. They know success is a constant journey.
These are just some of the eternal, indispensable, qualities that make a great leader. Some people seem to be born leaders, but these are all things that can be learned, and put into practice by anyone. It just takes discipline to put them into practice, until they become second nature.
What other qualities do you think are essential to becoming a great leader?