Qualities of a leader

Photo by Memento Media

Being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean being the CEO. Authentic leadership is found in the character of a person, not in their title. To lead is to trust, adapt, step outside of your comfort zone, and inspire others around you to do the same. Leaders encourage and nourish the creativity and confidence in others. They share knowledge and are open to receiving new information even if it contradicts their existing beliefs.

A leader gives people the space to take what they’ve learned and apply it first-hand without the confines of having to stay within the lines or being overshadowed. A leader encourages others to pave their way and find more efficient and productive ways than those already in place. Suppose they find a more effective way of doing things. In that case, a leader considers that and implements that going forward, even though they were not the founder of that improvement. A true leader doesn’t need to be the founder of all the new ideas but needs to listen to others’ ideas, keep what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

To thrive in a leadership position, one needs to be open-minded and listen more than one speaks.  There also needs to be an openness and preparedness to take unexpected turns and even setbacks. Plans can and should continuously be reviewed and improved where possible.

A true leader is open to new ideas that may come from others and even trump their very own ideas. They’re willing to be wrong, to make mistakes, and to take direction from another. Through that, they set an example for others to follow suit.