These are times that call for great leaders--people who are confident and courageous, certain in their leadership--to show us the way. It's not easy, but if we can learn to follow their example, we too can separate ourselves from the pack. Here are some of their lessons:
1. Create a compelling vision.
Great leaders focus on the future. They have a clear picture of what they want, and they make it happen. They are excited about the future and don't waste time being stuck in the past.
2. Articulate your vision to others.
Great leaders are able to describe the future and vision using words, images, and emotions that captivate and galvanize those around them. They freely share their leadership with those who look to them for guidance and support.
3. Be consistent in your character.
Great leaders do not change with the tides; they are flexible and open to new ideas but consistent in their beliefs and values. People know they can count on that consistency in thought and action.
4. Show genuine humility.
Great leaders know that without humility you are unable to learn. They admit mistakes, welcome feedback, and are open to suggestions. The best leaders are always interested in learning and improving.
5. Stay focused and forge forward.
Great leaders focus on results. They are immune to distraction, detours, and roadblocks, and they keep others focused and moving as well.
6. Demonstrate tenacity and courage.
Great leaders initiate action and work diligently. They don't change or get flustered when an issue arises, but take control with confidence. They move forward with conviction.
7. Connect the dots.
Great leaders are able to see the big picture and understand the connections between elements--a skill that takes great habits of mind to build.
8. Think strategically.
Great leaders have an eye for the future. They have a clear sense of what to do, and they anticipate and meet the future with strategic planning instead of short-term reaction.
9. Be agile and flexible.
Great leaders learn quickly. They know how to view things around them and make sense of them; they ask lots of questions. They know how to modify their behavior in response to changing situations without sacrificing consistency.
10. Be fair.
Great leaders are fair-minded and avoid taking sides in disputes. Others will always know where they stand, what's expected of them, and what they can expect in return.
Leaders have perfected the art of getting others to do something because they resonate with the message, the idea, or the vision. Great leaders do this with ease--and we can too if we make these traits a priority in our own development and growth.