Watching and listening to the candidates as they apply for the highest office in the United States is a great educational exercise. Think about who leads you at work, think about how you lead. Where would you rate yourself?

Who speaks from an authentic place? Who has a great vision for the future? Is it really possible to implement? Who is willing to speak about what is uncomfortable? Who includes others? Who is there because of ego? Who hits under the belt? Who is too high minded and not practical?

Here are some thoughts about what makes a remarkable leader starting with a quote from Albert Einstein:

"It is high time the ideal of success should be replaced with the ideal of service."

Remarkable leaders are not adopting a style or technique. They are behaving from the core of what they believe. They have reached a certain level of maturity so that the needs of others are first. This is critical. They are looking at the needs of those around them, NOT just their feelings.

Feelings come and go.

When leaders play on the feelings of their constituents, their business, and their team you can see a roller coaster of mood changes and there is no solid ground under foot. Remarkable leaders are willing to say what is unpopular and then back up what they are saying with both facts and an inspiring vision of the future. They can then motivate people to put aside petty arguments and look at what will make a positive difference moving forward.

Here are 8 characteristics important for leaders, whether it be in politics, business, education or parenting:

  1. Listen: Give full attention, don't interrupt, give feedback after they finish.
  2. Observe: Meet people where they are - not where you want them to be.
  3. Understand: Support people by offering resources for their growth.
  4. Encourage: Request people to take action rather than just talk.
  5. Clarify: Stay focused and clear about specific initiatives.
  6. Create Community: Help individuals find common ground to talk and create.
  7. Reinforce: Make positive communication the norm and disallow nasty talk.
  8. Lead by Example: Demonstrate the values and behaviors you want to see in others.

This is a fabulous time to really listen to the men and women running for President. Watch the master of the media, Donald Trump play his cards. He seems to show his hand in his everyday speaking and mannerisms, yet each move is calculated. Read, The Art of the Deal to get a better insight into him.

Watch how Chris Christy shows his bravado, how he constantly has to apologize for stepping on people's feet and then uses the "I'm from New Jersey " excuse for his quick to anger responses.

Consider why Bernie Sanders has so much support from first time voters. What is he sparking in this generation that is young, enough to think in terms of ideals and values?

What made Carly Fiorina think she would win points for saying that she and her husband like to spend time together and Hillary and Bill don't. That, I must say could have set women in business back a few years.

How is Ted Cruz engaging those who do not have a clue about a specific verse from the Bible? Is that a way to lead all the people?

Why is there a nagging undercurrent that Hillary Clinton cannot be trusted? Is it from more than all the years she has been in national politics?