In the words of John Quincy Adams, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."
Great leadership has the potential to excite people to achieve extraordinary things, which makes leadership among the highest of callings.
Measure yourself against these 26 attributes and ask yourself how you can lead from your very best qualities:
Be genuine and reliable, trustworthy, and always the same person.
Develop courage in the face of risks--and bad outcomes.
Character resonates with people and impels them to follow and trust.
Determination and daring make great leaders unshakeable.
Connect with enthusiasm, empowerment and encouragement; remember that everyone can make a positive contribution.
If you are brave in your thinking and daring in your actions, you can accomplish anything.
Goals provide governance to vision and mission, guiding people and organizations to a meaningful purpose.
Leadership with humility means service to others, ownership of your own mistakes and failures, and openness to learning.
Leading with intuition and intelligence gives everyone around you room to grow.
Always seek to be guided by truth and reason; be a champion of equality and fairness.
Be so well informed, learned, and cultivated that people are drawn to you for their own enlightenment.
Good leaders speak; great leaders listen. When you're listening to others, you're learning from them.
Mentor and encourage those around you. Inspire them to take chances.
To be a great leader, live in a way that draws others to emulate you.
To lead with optimism is to be confident, cheerful and positive, leading to openness and opportunity for all.
Keep moving, increasing and growing, and pioneering new frontiers. Those around you will gain energy from being part of a dynamic enterprise.
Always choose quality over quantity; hold yourself and those around you to the highest standard.
Show people they can count on you in good times and bad by living up to your word. Be dependable and consistent.
When you're encouraging, caring and sympathetic and helpful, offering feedback both positive and negative, you give those around you the confidence they need to persist.
People are reassured by dependability, reliability, credibility and competence. Have faith in those you're leading, and they will have faith in you.
Be impartial and open-minded; hold to the value of listening, learning, giving chances and being open to opinions.
Be innovative, imaginative, and perceptive. What differentiates great leaders from the rest is they not only have plenty of ideas but also commit to carrying them out.
Wisdom in leadership is more than just being wise--it's using that wisdom to give insight and inspiration to others.
24. Xcellent (with apologies for the liberty in spelling)
Aim for distinction and virtuosity, motivate yourself to always give your highest quality effort.
One test of a true leader is a constant longing and hunger. Always be looking to be more, do more and make a difference in a big way.
A devout drive to be dedicated to something bigger than yourself fuels a fierce passion to be help others be successful. Embrace that intensity and put it to work to better the world.
When you embrace these attributes from A to Z, you walk the path of great leadership. Begin now and see where you end up.