The word leadership often connotates a person who is in charge. High-ranking people who have immense influence over others are considered leaders. But leadership isn’t entirely about a person’s position or his seniority, neither it has got anything to do with experience. Effective leaders transcend titles by having the right combination of charisma, enthusiasm, and self-assurance. It may seem like leaders are just gifted with these skills, but the truth is most leadership attributes can be learned and bettered with time and practice. These are the 10 leadership traits of the world’s most powerful and successful leaders that you can learn and emulate:
Stay Positive, no matter what:
Great leaders are aware that exhibiting a positive attitude is essential for a happy and motivated team. A great leader stays positive and figures out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems, even in the worst situations.
Walt Disney (1901-1966), had a fair share hardships and challenges but he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities every time. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, desired to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. He even threatened to cut ties with Disney if he didn’t accept his terms. Disney chose to part ways with him and leave Oswald, but Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse.
Have a Sense of Humor:
It’s important for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, especially when things go wrong. You need to be able to laugh things off to boost the morale of your team members which directly impacts productivity.
As president, Barack Obama displayed confidence and calm even during stressful situations. Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest which helped him even during some tense moments in the White House.
Embrace Failures and Manage Set Backs:
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures are a part of your journey that you can’t change. So, it’s better to know how to deal with them.
Great leaders deal with failure by remaining calm, logically thinking through the situation and utilizing their resources.
Henry Ford founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the produced cars did not live up to his standards and were too costly. The company dissolved in 1901 and Ford set up the Henry Ford Company later. The sales were slow and the company faced financial doldrums. But in 1903 the Ford Motor Company was finally successful and put Ford on the world map.
Listen, and Give Feedback:
The best leaders are great listeners and communicate clearly with the people around them. They interpret other people properly without taking offense and analyze things in a logical manner.
The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, displays a benevolent leadership that is aimed towards truth and understanding. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you must get feedback from people to understand the situation properly.
Exude Confidence Everywhere:
Confidence is the essential trait of any leader because it holds the key to solving most of the problems in life.
Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes in the success of Tesla, which he has displayed on numerous occasions through his actions. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and remains firm in his opinions and actions.
Good leaders know that delegation is important as delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, resulting in higher morale and loyalty in the workplace.
Although Steve Jobs was known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he ensured to delegate work to the right teams. He invested time in finding, cultivating, and trusting talented team members like Tim Cook to ensure Apple runs smoothly.
Decision making based on past learnings:
Great leaders know that the past has always something to teach them so they trust their experiences more often. They connect the present challenges with the past learnings to make decisions promptly.
Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake but from that bad mistake, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like that, Buffett continued to make the right decisions.
Lead by Example and follow commitments:
Great leaders are the most committed and hardworking ones and ensure that they stick to their commitments even when others don’t. All great leaders lead by example.
Suu Kyi is the epitome of committed and belief-driven leadership as displayed during her 15 years of house arrest post which she was voted state counsellor in Myanmar. She became a symbol of peaceful resistance when she attempted to bring democracy to her country.
Take Responsibility and Never Blame Others:
Great leaders know that they need to take personal responsibility for failure irrespective of the institution they represent. How can they expect their subordinates or followed to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t? Great leaders don’t play the blame game.
Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine which rescinded a bunch of acceptances by citing missed deadlines as the reason. But the college soon realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.
Inspire and Grow People Around:
Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of their team members or people who follow them. Great leaders share their knowledge with others and give them the opportunity to grow and achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.
Pope Francis has been unusually popular because he has admirable leadership skills. His TEDTalk drew attention among millions as he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This kind of inclusive and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.