What does it take to be a great leader? First and foremost, I think you really need to understand that without followers, you aren’t really a leader. Leadership can be a very fleeting thing and its important for leaders to understand the fragility of leadership that is built merely around titles and positional authority. Great leaders realize that they must act in a way to be worthy of followers. To do this, leaders must look out for and take a genuine interest in the people they serve and place these interests above their own self-interest.
Simply, leadership isn’t about your own ego. In fact, I believe the truly great leaders are almost devoid of ego. They are action-oriented and hold themselves accountable for results, above anyone else. In essence, they realize that leadership is a calling and its price their own self-interest. Great leaders also realize that they can’t do it alone. They work to build the capacity of leaders around them and empower their followers to become future leaders. They give value to the ideas of their followers, understanding that more voices often shape better ideas.
Finally, leaders lead for a reason. They stand for something. They have a clear vision and target of how to move forward and are willing do the hard work to get there. They work harder than anyone else around them and are willing to get their hands dirty when needed. They have the backs of the people they lead and are supportive of them in times of need, getting their followers to reach their potential and fostering a growth mindset culture that ensures greatness and maximum sustainability beyond their own tenure as a leader.