So you’ve started your own company. That makes you CEO, manager, head honcho, the leader, right?!
Not necessarily. Being in charge is one thing – being a true leader is something entirely different.
To become a great leader, you must have certain qualities that motivate others to follow. In fact, we believe there are six qualities that do a great job of accomplishing just that.
Don’t worry – everyone possesses these characteristics, but some may have to dig a little deeper to bring them out. Just take a look at these six qualities of great leaders, and some of the best influencers who embody them, to enhance your leadership development.
1. They’re Enthusiastic
Inspiring others to care about a topic, industry, or even a product demands a bit of enthusiasm. It takes more than being passionate about your company, you have to show it as well. Others will then feed off of this positive energy to incorporate it into their own behavior.
Just think about Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube. Sister-in-law of Sergey Brin, founder of Google, Wojcicki displayed her enthusiasm for Google by hosting the search engine in her garage when it first began, and rising from there. First, she led AdWords and AdSense, but was called “the most important Googler you’ve never heard of (Mercury News).” She persevered and expressed her passion to lead in taking over YouTube in February of 2014; and nabbed the #12 spot on Forbes’ World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list this year.
(Image Source : Twitter)
2. They’re Communicative
How are you able to explain the importance of your company, if you aren’t able to do it eloquently? Whether it is through a networking event or a simple email to a co-worker, communication is everything. A Forbes article unveiled 10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders which could help you understand how to hone in these skills. A few highlights from the article include having an open mind, and learning to simply “shut-up and listen;” both of which can be helpful in handling a dispute or just conducting a brainstorm.
Don’t get discouraged if you find this characteristic difficult to master. Most world leaders struggle with this skill every day. In fact, the Dalai Lama is often brought in to encourage conversation about education instead of violence in order to prove a point among communication-challenged leaders. He does so with a contagious charisma often displayed on his Twitter page.
(Image Source: TibetanReview.Net)
3. They’re Inquisitive
Curiosity is a characteristic often defined by constantly asking questions. And a great leader must know when it is appropriate to give a straight-forward answer or when to answer with a question. This is a tricky trait, because the method is only effective when it is the right question. Daring to push co-workers (or fellow leaders) further by asking questions to provoke otherwise unknown answers could be the ticket to innovation.
Elon Musk is a perfect example of such a leader. He constantly pushes the limits by asking questions about current technological capabilities to discover solutions to unrealized questions. Just read up on creations such as Tesla Motors and SpaceX if you need specific examples.
(Image Source: DazeInfo)
4. They’re Decisive
You must earn the right to call yourself a leader. The most powerful way to do so is through your decision-making skills. Knowing your goals, understanding the consequences, and deciding confidently are the ingredients in making a solid decision.
Take a cue from leaders such as Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, for inspiration in swift decisiveness. In a recent article in The Guardian, Branson touches on how every decision he makes is with the brand in mind. Generally, Branson as a leader teaches you that if you want your name to be synonymous with your product or idea, you must be meticulously mindful in your decisions.
(Image Source: Forbes)
5. They’re Ethical
Having the power of decisions is exciting, but all the while daunting. Since we don’t live in a perfect world, and there are many temptations to take “the easy way,” you must harness the qualities of a true leader. You must rely on using your morality meter to make the hard, but ethical, decision and do what is right for the whole of a company or group, not just you.
The most impactful leader who exhibits this characteristic is Malala Yousafzai. At just 16 years old, she realizes the difference between right and wrong, and does not hesitate to stand for the justice of the whole. At 11 years old, she stood up to the Taliban, and since then has unfailingly defended women’s right to an education. She is a brave example of using ethical means to be a leader.
(Image Source: Lakeside Connect)
6. They’re Committed
In the end, you must be completely, totally, utterly, and 100% committed to your goals for your venture. If you don’t believe in what you want to achieve, nobody else will either. No matter the difficulties you face, or the hardships you must overcome, you have to show a dedication to succeeding.
Jeff Bezos of Amazon is exemplary at showing such a quality. He had a clear goal in pioneering internet commerce, and has changed to stay competitive with innovation only if it does not conflict with his branding goals. It was only a month ago that Amazon updated their login screen after more than a decade of what Bezos believed to have worked. So be sure to choose your goals carefully, because the best leaders stick to them!
(Image Source: Fast Company)
What other qualities do great leaders possess? What leaders inspire you to embrace these traits?
Share with us in the comments!
About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech. Get more from Deanna on Webs’ Blog and Google+.