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50 Characteristics of Great Leader


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Becoming a great leader is not something that happens overnight, but it can be achieved through discipline, hard work and a commitment to improvement through experience. Great leaders aren’t born, as some people suggest; instead, they are shaped over time. And, while what makes a “great” leader in one application doesn’t always apply to others, there are some general rules that all great leaders follow.

Published in: Self Improvement
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50 Characteristics of Great Leader

  1. 1. Listen to your team Rule one. Always listen to what your team has to say, even if you don’t like it. 1
  2. 2. Make your expectations and feelings clear, in the appropriate medium as often as possible. Communicate as efficiently as possible 2
  3. 3. Sometimes saying nothing is better than saying just anything. 3 Talk less
  4. 4. Be an example Be the type of person you want your team members to be. 4
  5. 5. If you aren’t passionate about your business, you’re in the wrong business. Be passionate 5
  6. 6. Be consistent in your behaviours so your team knows what to expect from you. 6 Be consistent
  7. 7. Make firm decisions Don’t leave things undecided for long, and don’t waver about a decision once you’ve made it. 7
  8. 8. Find people you can look up to and learn from, and follow them closely. Identify mentors and role models 8
  9. 9. If you trust your team to do good work, don’t interfere unless absolutely necessary. 9 Interfere only when necessary
  10. 10. Know your limits Don’t extend yourself beyond your means. 10
  11. 11. If you’re good at resolving disputes, step in and resolve them as often as possible. Know your strengths 11
  12. 12. If there’s something you’re not good at, admit it, and work on it. 12 Know your weaknesses
  13. 13. Don’t make excuses If you make a mistake, take ownership of it and don’t pass the blame to someone or something else. 13
  14. 14. You can’t control or predict everything. Accept the unforeseen 14
  15. 15. Work only with people you can count on and trust. 15 Choose your partners carefully
  16. 16. Do good Commit yourself to being a good person and giving back to the community when possible. 16
  17. 17. Take every opportunity to expand your network and expose yourself to new experiences and perspectives. Meet new people all the time 17
  18. 18. Don’t be a robot -- let yourself feel. 18 Stay in touch with your emotions
  19. 19. Temper your reactions Hold back your reactions until you have a moment to clarify your internal thoughts and feelings. 19
  20. 20. Take the time to have fun with your team. Have fun 20
  21. 21. Before making a decision, know the pros and cons -- do your homework. 21 Research everything
  22. 22. Think everything through Never exclusively trust your instincts or first reactions. 22
  23. 23. Hire only those you can trust to get the job done (and to get along with others, as well). Choose your team carefully 23
  24. 24. Your team is everything. Give them whatever they need to succeed. 24 Prioritize your team
  25. 25. Be humble Don’t get big-headed about your wealth, influence or position as a leader. 25
  26. 26. Everyone makes them. Forgive mistakes 26
  27. 27. Don’t beat yourself up too much over anything. Move on. 27 Forgive yourself
  28. 28. Be rational Make decisions logically. 28
  29. 29. Listen to dissenting opinions, and be fair. Be reasonable 29
  30. 30. There’s no such thing as “not having time” for what’s really important in your life. Make the time. 30 Make time for what’s important
  31. 31. Constantly learn Read as much as you can, and take classes whenever you have the opportunity. 31
  32. 32. Work on improving your approaches, your skills and your processes constantly. Improve everything 32
  33. 33. Don’t throw in the towel when a little extra persistence could put you over the edge. 33 Never give up
  34. 34. Transform your methods when necessary If something isn’t working, change your approach. 34
  35. 35. If you’re fighting a losing battle, retreat and start again somewhere else (or in a new way). Cut your losses when necessary 35
  36. 36. Try not to make the same mistakes twice. 36 Learn from your mistakes
  37. 37. Ground everything with data Back up all your decisions, opinions and thoughts with hard, objective facts and evidence. 37
  38. 38. Stress is real and can interfere with your ability to lead. If it starts setting in at abnormal levels, take action to reduce or relieve it. Don’t ignore signs of stress 38
  39. 39. Let your team know what they’re doing well and what needs further improvement. 39 Give feedback
  40. 40. Trust, but verify Trust your team to get things done, but always follow up to make sure the work is completed. 40
  41. 41. Let people know they can trust you, and open your door to anybody who needs it. Be approachable 41
  42. 42. Don’t play favorites; it breeds resentment and makes you appear immature as a leader. 42 Treat everyone equally
  43. 43. Don’t pursue close personal relationships with the team Be on friendly terms, but don’t try to be best friends with everybody. You’re a leader, first and foremost. 43
  44. 44. Use team-building exercises or other excuses to get your team members talking with one other and having fun together. Get the team together 44
  45. 45. If someone helps you, make it your responsibility to pay back the favor -- even if it’s years later. 45 Return favors
  46. 46. Don’t burn bridges Never cut a contact completely out of your life. 46
  47. 47. If team members leave or change roles, stay in contact with them. Stay in touch 47
  48. 48. Your personal life is necessary to retain your own mental health. Never sacrifice it for the sake of leadership or professional responsibilities. 48 Don’t sacrifice your personal life
  49. 49. Enjoy leadership Try not to stress too much about being a leader. Instead, enjoy all the benefits it offers. 49
  50. 50. Even with these 50 rules! Because nobody knows everything, and no one piece of advice applies to all situations. Take advice with a grain of salt 50
  51. 51. Follow these rules, trust your instincts and continually strive for self-improvement. Eventually, through your experiences and your efforts, you’ll become the type of leader most people only aspire to be.