Leadership & Strategy | November 17, 2014

What Is a Leader?

What is a leader? The question may jingle around in your head as the world stumbles by. But just because those you see in the world around you may not have the skills to get the job done, that does not necessarily have to include you. If you are someone who is easily able to locate errors or solve problems, you may share the qualities that make up a truly judicious and memorable leader. But what are some of those skills and aptitudes?


A leader is one who has an objective, can see this goal in their minds, and knows how they want to get there. That is about as simple a definition as you will find for the word “leader” itself. But vision for a leader includes maintaining your vision in spite of challenges. When a person’s vision is affected by negativity in the world around, they are not really fulfilling the qualifications of leadership. They may have good ideas but a leader is one who can see those ideas through, no matter what. 


It’s not often that the head of a multi-national company will be able to do every job in their production line. Very often, in fact, they can not do most of the jobs they hire others to do. But to get started as  a leader someone has got to have the skills to at least be able to instruct others in the proper methods. They have to have the skills to say “this is possible” and “here’s how we will make it a reality.”


Going along with the first, someone who has ideas but can not stand up to scrutiny might be a good team player, but may not have the backbone necessary to truly be considered a leader. However if there are insurmountable obstacles in the face of adversity and still things get done, then you are dealing with a true leader. Leaders happen especially when others say “this can’t be done.” That is when the inner fortitude comes out.


Another quality of a leader is one who people will want to follow. Some say others follow confidence or braggarts. While that may be true many people will just follow this type of commander until they can get off and partner up with a real leader. Empathy is a far more powerful quality for those who exhibit real leadership. Empathy does not mean that every sob story gets heard or every scammer can come and take from you. But an empathetic individual will get an intrinsic trust from their followers; they will feel as though the chief understands them and they will want to follow this individual for that very reason. Sure it’s confidence too, but the confidence is served with a helping hand, not a pompous swagger.


Leaders share another amazing quality; they know when to move onto something new. Most leaders in our world will create one thing very well and keep on trying to make it better. They will build a brand up around themselves and they will employ a lot of people. These are all great things. But a truly exceptional leader will make one thing great and then will continue striving, continue trying to make new things; continue trying to make the world a better place for everyone. This is the foresight to see beyond the present moment and their current success and to keep trying to make the world better on in perpetuity.

Finding the very best in the world, the best in their industry, the best in business, and the best in humanity is what makes someone the very best leader.

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