All leaders start somewhere. Think of any great man or woman, who took charge — their names, remembered — and you will find that they weren’t always ready for the leadership roles they ended up accepting (or taking on). Before they got there, they needed to establish the following five qualities.
All leaders must start with the curiosity to take a look at a problem and wonder, “what if?” Without curiosity, people largely just accept what they’re fed as the only way to do things. Big mistake! Steve Jobs was curious enough to wonder what could happen if you put a computer on a phone and a CD collection on a device smaller than a credit card. Look where that took not just him, but the world!
You might expect for bravery to be on this list, but you’d be wrong. In fact, it’s fear that makes someone a great leader — their ability to control it and use it to their advantage, to be more specific. It’s fear that helps a leader find bravery.
Leaders also need to be able to do more than dictate orders to those under them. They need to be able to feel what others are going through. Empathy is being able to put yourself in another person’s position and think about things from their point of view. That’s what makes the TV show Undercover Boss so compelling because you have these millionaire owners getting down to the levels of their employees and experiencing what they go through on a day-to-day basis. Every boss usually walks away with new levels of empathy for their employees on that show.
Yes, leaders can’t simply plan a problem to death. They have to take action. Leaders don’t wait for other people to step up. They do what needs to be done, setting an example in the process.
Leaders are able to look back at an issue and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of themselves and their team. Without this ability to reflect, it would be impossible for a leader to build on their successes.
What are some leadership qualities that you believe to be must-haves? Share your thoughts in the comments section!