Although it may seem like the things that good leaders do--such as taking charge providing a vision for their organizations--are pretty straightforward, there's more to leadership than just that.

Good leaders--actually, great leaders--always do these 5 things.

1. Follow through on commitments

Fickleness is a disease that can stand in the way of the success of any leader. The best leaders have learned that you shouldn't fall prey to the inability to follow through on commitments. They have learned through experience to give their word, and then to do everything in their power to find a way to follow through. They understand that with follow-through comes great respect and loyalty from their people.

2. Make firm decisions

From small things--like what to wear in the morning--to things on a much larger scale, like next steps during an acquisition, good leaders are highly skilled at deciding a course of action thanks to the wisdom they draw from their past experiences. The best leaders have come to understand that even though the outcome matters, it is the faith people have in their decisions that matters most. And, they learn over time that if they strongly believe in their decisions, others are more likely to follow.

3. Follow first

The best leaders are always those who have worked their way up following the leadership of others. The experiences they encounter by following and showing loyalty to others has given them a better understanding of the way others operate--both socially and emotionally. The best leaders have learned when to be empathetic making them more accessible and easier to approach.

4. Always ask

One of the greatest pitfalls of employees is not asking for enough opportunity. Through the ranks, the greatest leaders have pushed themselves to do more and to push themselves--they have pushed themselves out of their comfort zones many times. They understand that with more opportunity comes greater knowledge and a chance to lead with greater wisdom.

5. Be a mentor

Nobody great ever made it there on his or her own, and that includes even the very best leaders among us. Being a mentor to younger people in your organization is by far one of most worthwhile things any leader can do. Great leaders have figured this out. When your employees have a mentor, it opens doors for them while providing them with the opportunity to learn from example--your good example.

Published on: Mar 31, 2016