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This Is What a Great Leader Looks Like

Aha Moment: Great leaders stand out from the crowd, but great leadership doesn’t come easy.

We’ve all seen one.

Great leaders stand out from the crowd. They’re really easy to identify.

But not so easy to create.

If you’re eyeing people like Jack Welch, Howard Schultz, Richard Branson or Warren Buffett, there are a few things you should know.

Most leaders share certain qualities.

To be a leader, you don’t necessarily have to be in a position of power.

Quite the opposite, in fact. You can be a leader in your current position, and one that your colleagues, associates, and managers look up to.

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Before you can get there, you need to work on building these qualities:

  • What’s your emotional IQ? You don’t necessarily have to be the smartest and the brightest to be a great leader. Good leaders are emotionally strong, too. You have to be ready. Ready to learn, grow, listen, be compassionate and committed to innovation. An emotionally healthy leader recognizes that she doesn’t have to have all the answers, but be willing to search for them. These qualities are extremely relevant as the work environment becomes more stressful. That’s when your emotional IQ will really come to light.
  • What’s your growth potential? A strong sense of self awareness will take you far. Good leaders know their shortcomings. But they don’t stop there. They also challenge themselves to overcome these limitations and grow. Think about how you receive criticism. Are people open to sharing their insights with you? How do you handle setbacks? Are you a team player or a Debbie-downer? Do you keep working on professional development to improve communication or productivity skills?
  • What’s your support factor? How your colleagues perceive you makes a big impact on your leadership potential. That’s because you can either intimidate your fellow coworkers into agreeing to your idea, or you can encourage your colleagues to share ideas and reach consensus. Do you know how to make your employees shine or do you take all the credit? Are you able to offer constructive criticism or do you embarrass and denigrate people who make a mistake or disagree with you?
  • What’s your ability to be resourceful? Are you able to ask for help when you need it? Do you have access to the people who can help you build your skills or create the right team?
  • What’s your ability to be decisive? Leaders are chosen to make decisions that impact the business and people. Assess your capabilities to make a decision and your vision to see how your choices and decisions impact those around you. Ask your mentors to evaluate your past decisions and help you see how you can add more value in the future.

You can’t get to the finish line without the right training. This adage holds true in the workplace, too. If you want to be seen as a leader, you’ll need the qualities to get you there.

We’ve put together a definitive set of leadership cards that will help guide you in the right direction. Check them out!