What qualities make great leaders? This is an important question, especially in this election year, since we will be electing a new president for our country. Leaders are faced with significant challenges, temptations, and responsibilities at any level. Here are a few qualities I have observed and appreciate of effective leaders:
- Ability to listen and value input, regardless of person or position. Great insights can come from all directions.
- Provides reachable goals and a vision that incorporates the concerns of all.
- Prioritizing– understanding what needs attention and what actions will yield the greatest positive impact. Everything doesn’t need the same time and energy.
- Being pragmatic. A leader must do what is practical, sometimes deviating from the ideal, in doing what is needed. They do this while treating people fairly.
- Does not overreact or make impulsive decisions. Great leaders have an intuitive ability to “wait it out.”
- Positioning people to take advantage of their strengths, like a good coach.
- Builds leadership capacity. Great leaders aren’t insecure about empowering those they lead.
Leaders at any and all levels should embody these qualities. If the person you support doesn’t embody these qualities, then you should reconsider. Choosing a leader, whether it is in your local community or the president of the U.S., should not be taken lightly.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT IN ORDER TO BE GREAT OR REACH YOUR GOAL! I think that is important to share because there are many times we quit or don’t even try because we feel we’re not perfect or have the perfect circumstances. Listen, we all make mistakes. Most of us have experienced deep disappointments, failures, or challenges. Luckily, we have opportunities to succeed in today’s world despite this. Sports is a great analogy for understanding that we do not need to be perfect in order to win or be great. Muhammad Ali, who recently past away, is considered by many as the greatest boxer of all time; yet, he wasn’t undefeated. He wasn’t considered a power puncher. Despite this, he is still viewed as the best ever. The Cleveland Cavaliers recently won the NBA championship. Their regular season record was 57 wins and 25 losses. They experienced failure 25 times in the regular season, yet were able to reach their goal of winning an NBA championship. There are examples all around of imperfect people making an impact and doing great things. Thank God perfection is not needed on the road to success; you only need to stay on the road!
Wow!! We are already half way through 2016. To think, just 6 months ago, many of us made New Year’s Resolutions, committing ourselves to some sort of improvement in our lives. Fast-forward to the present. Where do you stand with your goal or resolution? Were you able to stick with it? If so, I congratulate you on your dedication and persistence. On the flip side, however, is the cold reality that many of us have abandoned our resolutions. And know what? That’s ok.…….you are still on the path to accomplishing your goal! I want to encourage you to regroup and refocus. Remember, success is a process and not an event. In many cases, the process involves some stumbles, whether it is failure or losing focus. If you slipped up, the past is the past; it is what it is. Learn from it and apply it to the future. You can get back on track. It’s all good.
You are instructed to travel to New York City from your present location. What different modes of transportation can you use to get there? You could fly by airplane, drive a car, or ride a train or bus. You may use a combination of those forms of transportation. The amount of time and directions will likely be different for each form of transportation, yet, the bottom line is you can get to NYC.
This same principle applies to our lives. We all share the same destination: a desire to have success at something. It may be related to family, finances, relationships, etc. Even though we share the same destination (success), the path to reach that destination may be filled with delays, detours, and construction when compared to others who are traveling to the same destination. The great thing is, despite those obstacles, we can all reach the same destination. You have what you need to get there!
Today, I come wanting to share some good news with you:
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT IN ORDER TO BE GREAT OR REACH YOUR GOAL! I think that is important to share because there are many times we quit or don’t even try because we feel we’re not perfect or have the perfect circumstances. Listen, we all make mistakes. Most of us have experienced deep disappointments, failures, or challenges. Luckily, we have opportunities to succeed in today’s world despite this. Sports is a great analogy for understanding that we do not need to be perfect in order to win or be great. Muhammad Ali, who recently past away, is considered by many as the greatest boxer of all time; yet, he wasn’t undefeated. He wasn’t considered a power puncher. Despite this, he is still viewed as the best ever. The NBA will crown a new champion in the next few days; whatever team wins the championship will have experienced losing during the glory of a championship season. Thank God perfection is not needed on the road to success; you only need to stay on the road!
The path to greatness seems to be a steep and, sometimes, lonely climb. Lately, I have been observing people who are successful in their fields; they have some traits in common. They seem to have 3 simple keys to greatness:
- Know your purpose or what you want. Contrary to what’s popular in society, discovering your true purpose can take years of soul searching. That’s ok. Trial and error will likely bring you to your purpose. What you want can change, but you need to have an idea of where you’re headed
- Tune out distractions. I hate to break the news to you, but there will be things that will happen along the way which will take you off your game. Some will be major, some will be minor. You may have to modify your plans. You also have tune out yourself. Sometimes we have negative thoughts or self-talk based on our experiences. We have to learn to counter these thoughts with positive affirmations.
- Continue to improve. Always look to sharpen or develop new skills. Read up on your goal or craft.
The keys to greatness are simple to remember, but take a lot of time and effort. Remember, success is a process, not an event!
The challenge of timing. If you are waiting for the perfect time to start your goal, it probably will never happen. Don’t get me wrong, timing is important; but finding the perfect time is rare. There is always going to be a challenge whenever you start; it is likely the reason you have the goal in the first place! The key is to get started and make progress. Starting off with a bang is not as important as making consistent progress. As you make progress, you can always add to what you are doing to reach your goal. Stay encouraged and don’t give up! You may need to put your goal or dream on pause, but you don’t have to abandon it. One thing I know for sure: if you quit, you definitely won’t reach your goal. You’re on the clock!