Qualifying as a Great Leader

What makes great leaders great? Is it attitude? Is it the number of people following them? Or could it be something else? What do you think a good leader does? Run the show? Tell others what to do? Here are some interesting ideas about leadership for you to consider.

Great leaders seem to love problems. Great leaders will always run to the solution of a problem, not away from it. And with this attitude, this skill of not being afraid to face a challenge head-on, they bring along those they lead in the quest to find these solutions. Their confidence in finding solutions is, in a sense, intoxicating.

Something else about leaders, that you may have noticed, is that great leaders naturally develop those around them and teach them to be leaders too. They do it all the time, because competition or the new generation coming up behind them does not threaten them. They trust in these relationships, as they move toward achieving their collective goals.

Great leaders earn the trust of those who follow them. It wouldn’t occur to a great leader to think of the people they lead as subordinates or in any way inferior. Leaders recognize the higher purpose of the goals, and respect the unique talents and worth of every individual. Great leaders can step aside and allow someone more qualified to lead when the situation calls for it.

Great leaders are not in a quest for personal power. They are, though, passionate about their purpose and can inspire others to feel strongly, as well. In the past, it was expected that the best leaders had to be “in front” of the crowd, never anywhere else. But there have been other voices. In the words of 6th Century B.C.E. Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, “To lead people, walk behind them.”

What do you think? These are some interesting characteristics, that don’t always line up with traditional definitions of “leadership.” Is it time that we re-define the concept of leadership? Who qualifies as a great leader to you?