“Leadership is not a title. Leadership is not a position. Leadership is not authority. Leadership is influencing or inspiring the life of another.”
Adam H. White (Leadership Expert and Success Coach)

There are common characteristics of leaders such as courage, having a vision, being authoritative (taking charge), and getting things done.

Being a leader in today’s world means stepping beyond managing people and achieving the goals of your community, business or organization.

In the September 2000 edition of the Harvard Business Review, Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones wrote a widely acclaimed article titled “Why should anyone be led by you?”

This is a great question to ask yourself if you’re in a leadership position or want to be a leader.

5 Uncommon Qualities of an Awesome Leader

Awesome leaders have uncommon characteristics that make them stand out among their peers.

They are more respected and able to create significant positive change. They can achieve big goals and also motivate people to follow them.

These are important factors in today’s world and today’s article looks at 5 qualities that make these leaders unique.

#1: They selectively reveal a few of their weaknesses

Being a great leader means being able to influence people. One of the easiest ways to do this is to show them that you’re human. Knowing and publicly admitting a weakness creates trust and makes you more approachable.

Take care though not to reveal your flaws as this will be counterproductive. Also, keep your revelations to a minimum so that you don’t come across as being incapable of leading.

A good way to get the best mileage from your weaknesses is to turn them into strengths. Your followers will empathize with such weaknesses and relate to you better.

For example, having poor money management skills is a flaw that will work against you when revealed. So will revealing that you can’t sleep without the help of alcohol. In contrast, nervousness when speaking in public is authentic and more positive.

#2: They share what they know

Rising to the level of a leader is a process that is rich with experiences.

Great leaders are not mean with knowledge. They share their wisdom with their peers and the people they lead. They do this through writing, telling stories about their journey, teaching and mentoring.

It’s worth noting that all good leaders take time to mentor upcoming leaders and those with potential for leadership. In this way, they create more leaders for the future.

#3: They are unique and different

One thing you’ll notice about these leaders is that they stand out even when they’re in a crowd of other leaders.

While they do interact closely with their followers, they still manage to maintain some level of distance. Followers are allowed in to a certain level and no more.

Another aspect of their uniqueness is that they have amazing self-discipline and the ability to pursue their own personal development. They set a high bar for themselves and have clear personal and professional values that they live up to each day.

Finally, while they do mingle with their followers, it’s not easy for the followers to really get to know them. They have strong boundaries and very few people are allowed into their inner circle. This creates an element of mystery around them that intrigues and attracts followers.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, or to become more than you are a Leader.” John Quincy Adams

#4: They are highly intuitive

While they may not openly admit it, great leaders rely a lot on their intuition. They have an inner sense of identifying what’s going on and are able to follow this sense when making decisions.

Care should, however, be taken not to misinterpret information based on your personal experiences and biases. It takes time to hone your intuition to an art.

If you’re starting out as a leader, back your intuition with data or references so that you make objective decisions. You can also get a second opinion from a trusted member of your team, your mentor, or an advisor.

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#5: They care…but in a tough way

True leaders really care about their followers. But, they’re able to temper their caring with toughness when need be.

They’re also able to pull away from their followers and allow the followers to work on their own. The leader guides, but they don’t pull people up or force them to perform.

This may sometimes seem harsh, but it’s the only way that everyone in the team can take responsibility for their own role.

On the other hand, a great leader doesn’t take personal credit for success. They take responsibility for all team failures but share credit for success with the team.

Are you a leader?

Being a true leader goes beyond having a strong vision, being confident, and having the courage to go for what you want. It includes being able to have people want to follow you or work with you willingly.

This form of leadership is not easy to achieve.  It takes time, practice, and commitment to become an awesome leader, but the results are more fulfilling because you end up doing what you do best – lead your team or group to success.

These 5 qualities are not limited to leaders. You can start implementing them in your life, business or profession today if you aspire to move into a leadership role.

With time, you’ll find yourself thinking and acting like a leader. And it won’t be long before you’ll be noticed and moved into a leadership position.

Change starts in you, become an awesome leader today!

Over to you…

What do you think of these 5 qualities of awesome leaders? Is there a particular quality that you could easily incorporate this week? Drop a Comment below and let us know what you’ll be changing.

(Image credit sumetho at FreeDigitalPhotos)

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