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leadership qualities

Leadership Qualities Leaders Possess These Top 20 Abilities

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Leadership qualities that every leader possess but is not limited to include:

  1. Strong willpower
  2. Sacrifice
  3. Never gives up
  4. Being a good follower
  5. Listens to people
  6. Stands in the front
  7. Intelligent
  8. Makes good judgement
  9. Knows when to quit
  10. Creates more leaders
  11. Does not take advantage of people
  12. Works hard and long hours
  13. Knows the outcome to a situation
  14. Has patience
  15. Courageous and takes risk
  16. Encourages and supports moral
  17. Charismatic and inspires others
  18. Management
  19. Leads with love
  20. Never stops learning

leadership qualities

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Leadership Qualities Leaders Possess These Top 20 Abilities

Leadership qualities are rare and few these days. We are all born followers, yet 99% of us are followers and remain that way for life but just 1% of us are true leaders. Great feats requires great individuals therefore only the extreme few possess superb leadership qualities.

There are some good leaders and few superb leaders. Superb leaders have all the leadership characteristics; they delegate task and pass on these qualities (overtime) to good leaders who then pass it on to their followers. Leaders still and can always learn from their followers.

Out of 1,000 followers there are a few good leaders. Out of 1,000 good leaders there may be 1, a few, or no superb leader. That’s 1 superb leader out of every 1,000,000 people. (assuming there is at least 1)

That sounds right if you look at how many billionaires and very influential people on this earth, which makes it around 7,000 superb leaders in this world. Obviously I am no superb leader (for now) but I am simply telling you what leadership qualities they have. There’s a link or source for every leadership quality for evidence and you can read those for more proof and understanding.

 In this topic we will touch upon 20 leadership qualities that all superb leaders possess. 

1. Strong Willpower

leadership qualities strong willpower
*Strong willpower is the foundation to success.

If one has a strong will then they can pretty much do anything they want. People with this trait are strong minded and changing their ways and beliefs are difficult. A strong mind can be dangerous for a few good reasons though.

After all, humans have evolved mentally instead of physically like most other animals. Like many leadership qualities, a strong will is not easy to master. I believe one can be born with a strong will but many of us have to develop it over time.

Physical strength today is not necessarily required for leadership but it is a plus unless your area involves physical attributes like wars, fighting, and movements. Leaders can not let small or even great matters affect them. They must continue forward and disregard all other matters that hinder them from achieving their goals.

2. Sacrifice

Great things are never easy to achieve if they were it would not be great. One must sacrifice their time, money, maybe health, enjoyment, eating or drinking, and sometimes their own life for others. Do wars not require the greatest sacrifice?

Humanity. There is no greater sacrifice than the lives of our own brothers and sisters. After all, we are all one big family. When leaders sacrifice something that has significant meaning: they appreciate what they have and learn to value it and use it well. Think of sacrifice as a trade off.

Whether the value is the same, less, or greater a sacrifice is a sacrifice but for leaders they will always get the greater trade off. We normal beings sacrifice our time for money; I can not think of a worst trade off. The super rich are using your time while they accumulate enormous wealth.

3. Never Gives Up

One of the greatest feat about leaders is that they don’t ever give up.  Failure, quitting, running away, retreating, re-planning, and so forth are not so bad if you think about it. But the moment one gives up, then he/she has lost the right to be a leader.

Giving up means you have admitted total defeat and no longer have the desire to continue. One must be purely committed to what they are doing, no matter what may lie ahead. It takes years or even a lifetime for a follower to become a leader.

Giving up only takes 1/10 of a second, so no wonder it’s so easy to give up. You must persevere, follow your path, face all challenges, and stay true to yourself. Remember great things lie ahead for those who have patience and perseverance.

 The journey WILL BE rough, uneven, dangerous, but as long as one continues onward then there is nothing left but the destination. 

4. Being A Follower (Leaders are made not born)

leadership qualities leaders are made
*There can only be one true leader in a pack of followers.

How are leaders born? By being made! Who ever said that leaders are born? It’s not even possible; that’s like saying strong people are born.

You can’t be born muscular, you have to work at it. If you ask any leaders on how they became who they are today; what do you think all of them will say. They had mentors, leaders, they work hard at what they do, they study, practice, learn the inside and outs of their expertise.

A great follower can become a great leader. They will learn, experience, and follow everything that their leader does. If they want to become a leader they must imitate the leader.

How can one be born with all the leadership qualities, especially when there is so much to learn and do? They simply can not! It is impossible! Would you follow a natural born leader or one that has many years of real quality experiences?

5. Listens To His/Her Followers

A great follower listens to his/her leader, but a true leader will always listen to his/her follower. (not take commands) If followers ask questions then leaders must answer with 100% accuracy. Leaders will even take advice from followers and can learn new things as well.

Followers are always learning from one another and their leaders. It will only be natural for followers to develop a skill or maybe even acquire a skill that leaders can learn or gain from. Leaders are the mind and followers are the body. Without one, the other has no function, they must go hand in hand.

6. Stands In The Front

leadership qualities stands out
*They must stand out from the rest of the followers.

Some leaders only care about themselves and then there are those who have compassion and are benevolent. True leaders will never sacrifice his followers unless the cause is greater, but before he/she does; they will hesitate to decide because they know life is precious and everyone of his/her follower has worth. Leaders always take charge.

They are the ones in the front of the line, making the calls, taking full blame and responsibilities for all actions whether good or bad. A superb leader knows that if he/she shows who is in charge and what it takes to be in charge and stand out, then naturally the followers will be attracted to such qualities. It’s difficult to distinguish the leader in a crowded area unless he/she stands out by wearing different cloth and being in the front of the pack. (sometimes in the back)

No followers want to be in the front or in charge because of fear, inexperience, lack of knowledge, and education, so they will always be behind the leader. When leading from the front, the leader will express his actions thus making it easy for the followers to copy.

7. Wisdom

Good leaders make good calls, superb leaders make superb calls. They must have brains. I believe this is one of the more important qualities of a leader.

If he/she does not know how to make wise decisions then how are followers able to follow them. Making the right call every time is just not realistic but too many bad calls can land them on fire. The more wisdom one has, the more educated one is.

Therefore when more situations arise they are able to understand what must be done. How they converse and express themselves to followers whether through words or actions is crucial. No one wants to follow someone who can’t express how to do something in normal terms.

Most or every question that followers ask, leaders must know, if not then that just shows a lack of wisdom. A trait that all leaders fear.

8. Makes Good Judgment

We live in a fast world, especially in the first world countries. Back then you could take days or even months to make a decision but nowadays that’s not possible. Some things require immediate decision and answers.

Leaders must know or at least try to know the outcome to any situation. Making educated and correct calls are highly needed in great leaders, for the short and long run. Most of us make calls or actions that we don’t even think about it, and sometimes it cost it.

I got a DUI (driving under the influence,  had 7 beers and was driving over the speed limit). That cost me $5,000 and many hours of classes and meetings and I was label as an alcoholic. Can you believe that? I’m not but because I got A DUI, the government decides to label me as one.

A leader would have taken a taxi or Uber but I wanted to save a few dollars which regrettably ended up to be $5,000 in fees. Leaders must calculate all the possible outcome that could be resulted from their actions. Of course the best outcome is not always possible but a great leader should know most of the time.

9. Knows When To Quit

Please note there is a difference between failure, running away, and quitting vs giving up. Everyone has an ultimate goal in life. Failure is part of success because if you don’t fail then you don’t know what is wrong and you can’t improve on the thing that you are working on without failure.

Running away and then coming back with a better and well-prepared plan is what leaders will do. Winning every battle is great and all but winning the war is the most important thing. Running away just gives you more time and other resources you need to build up and replan.

Quitting multiple jobs or classes to get to the one you want is everyday life. If you don’t quit then later, it may even be worse. No one wants to work all their life on a job they hate. It’s usually better if you can quit sooner than later; before things start to get ugly internally and externally.

10. Creates New Leaders

leadership qualities creates new leaders
*Leaders want others to succeed.

What is the purpose of followers? Is it not to learn and imitate leaders; strive to one day be a leader themselves? Leaders know that only a very few of their followers if any will ever be a leader and even less a superb leader.

Their purpose besides their own goals is to ready the followers so that one day they will have all the qualities and traits of a true leader. A leader also needs a right-hand man/woman. If something were to happen to the leader, all knowledge and power must be pass on to someone else.

Leaders can only do so to someone they trust, respect, and is qualified for such a position.  True leaders want to create more leaders because successful people want others to succeed. 

11. Does Not Use His/Her People To His/Her Advantage

Good leaders lead by example and will use everything they can to accomplish their goals except for taking advantage of his/her followers. They will find another way to reach their goals because there are many ways to accomplish something. Most things in life do not have one path to their destination.

Cruel leaders will use any means necessary to accomplish their goals, even costing the lives of their followers. Weak leaders, although a leader will use people. A leader is just someone with followers really, as sad as it sounds, however an amazing leader is in a whole new class, you can not compare the two in any way. A superb leader can create followers that are willing to sacrifice themselves for their leaders cause.

Such actions are rare but a superb leader can instill trust, love, faith, compassion, and anything onto their followers. A follower will gladly sacrifice their life for their leaders who possess such characteristics.

12. Does Not Stop Training or Working

Successful leaders know that long hard hours are not an option but a must. No one can achieve anything without working and working long diligent hours. (years) When a follower sees that a leader is the first person and last person to leave work and is consistently there, it gives the followers a sense of admiration.

No one wants to work all their life but superb leaders have a very different mindset. Remember they will do whatever it takes to accomplish their dreams, even if it takes an entire lifetime. No empire, enterprise, country was build in one day. Leaders enjoy their work, it is their passion.

The rest of us just do it to pay the bills and feed the family. Leaders are way past that point, they love what they do. So in theory, they aren’t really working anymore.

13. Know the Situation or Outcome

This kind of goes with making good judgement. If a leader keeps making bad decisions it could ultimately lead to the end of his/her career or company. One does not need to have many decisions to reach one’s goals or task.

It only takes a few right judgement to become successful but that requires experience and knowing ones outcome. An example is stocks and investment in any field. One investment can yield 10,000% ROI or even more.

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, stocks like Amazon, Google, Netflix are just a few examples. Making one right judgment can literally have the power to make you or end you. Timing, luck, and coincidence play a huge role in that also.

Ok, so one right judgement can be difficult that is why many correct judgement is more realistic. So leaders must be wise and take precautions in each judgement they make.

14. Have Patience

Patience is a must have virtue. They know that not taking their time can cost them dearly. No big company became a billion dollar company over night. You have to work day and night, years after years to make your dreams a reality.

Leaders are always working on their goals and helping followers. If everyone wanted quick results then this world would be very different from what you see today. I am not talking about procrastination which is the enemy of success.

When a good idea comes to mind; they will definitely act upon it, but the longer they wait the greater the chance of them not taking action is bound to happen. Leaders have the ability to endure for a long period of time to get what they want.

15. Bravery and Taking Risk

leadership qualities bravery and take risk
*They take risk and don’t fear change.

I can not stress how important these 2 abilities are since they basically are the same in today’s world. Leaders face their fears with full force. They know that if they don’t their fears can break them and destroy their goals.

Courageous leaders must lead the pack. No single species alive today will follow a leader without courage. They all depend on their leader to guide and lead the way.

The greater the risk, the greater the reward but also the greater the downfall. What are leaders willing to risk to make it big? Everything because they know big things require big risk and sacrifice.

You can’t get ahead of the game or competition without taking some losses. In order for them to take wise and calculated risk, they need to be courageous. This is one of the abilities that can truly shine and stand out the most for leaders.

16. Encourages and Supports Moral

Wars can not be won without support and moral. (click here) Infantry is the backbone of any war. An army paralyzed by fear and death has surely never won any wars, let alone a battle.

The greatest leaders always encourage and express positivity to his followers. He/she knows that followers are like babies. They motivate their followers to achieve their goals and wants. If you show and teach babies with positivity, care, compassion, etc. characteristics; the baby will most likely grow up to show these traits and vice versa for violence, anger, cruelty, etc. characteristics.

It is always, always, always better to lead with love, compassion, encouragement, kindness, etc. than the other way. People are naturally attracted to kindness rather than hatred. Just look at the most influential leaders of all times: MLK, Gandhi, Buddha, Jesus, Confucius, and so on.

Were any of these people evil or rule with hatred and vengeance? Leaders can only attract so many follows with evilness. Leaders can attract the whole world with benevolence.

17. Charisma and Inspiration

leadership qualities charisma
*Followers follow leaders who inspire them.

One of the top 5 quality that all leaders must possess. People are just naturally attracted to positive energy. The Universe is energy, almost every action whether physically or mentally involves energy. A leader with charisma is a great leader.

He/she has the ability to motivate, inspire, push people onward, show no signs of weakness, and the likes. Followers seek and are searching for this type of energy. If leaders can illuminate this type of energy, surely followers will come.

Especially in a crisis and a time of need. The one that shows the most charismatic features will likely be the savior.

18. Management

Management of time, work, planning, life, vacations, daily activities, etc. are vital. He/she must know how to delegate certain task to certain individuals at certain times. Kings and Queens treasure the strategist. The strategist is the ones that plan on what event needs to be taken: where, when, why, who, how.

In today’s time, every minute and action counts. There are only 24 hours in a day, so everything must be precise and on time, with little to no mistakes. Leaders just can’t simply handle 100-100,000,000 individuals at any given time. But with the right team and other leaders, he/she can assign tasks and work to each lower tier leaders.

Every wasted minute at the end of a year can really add up. Image 1 hour a day of extra time over 10 years, that’s 3650 hours. If you give a hard-working, smart team of let’s say 50 people with 3650 hours, you can expect to have so much done. All just from good management.

19. Leading With Love Vs Fear

This one is quite obvious. Those that lead with love can build many followers. Those that lead with fear can build strong followers.

The followers of Jesus, MLK, Gandhi, Buddha, etc. are all kind-hearted, compassionate, benevolent, and so forth. But the followers of Kim-Jong-Il, Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Michinomiya Hirohito are fierce, cruel, demanding, physically strong, and so forth.

Leading with love demands nothing and in return, the followers choose to follow their leaders willingly. Leading with fear demands everything and in return the followers has no choice but to follow their leader. In today’s time, many have the right to choose who to follow.

Most feared leaders force themselves to be in a higher position. 1st world countries have the right to vote for their leaders and as you can see the big difference between 1st vs 2nd vs 3rd world countries. Those that lead with love and benevolence will always have the heart and support of their followers.

20. Never Stops Learning

leadership qualities never stop learning
*Never stop learning, your future will thank you.

Followers learn everything from their leaders.  Leaders, however, must learn new things by themselves or from other leaders. The worst thing a follower wants to hear is “I don’t know” from their leader. “I will find out the answer today for you” is much more relaxing and assuring compare to “I don’t know”.

Learning new things only makes the leader wiser, stronger, and more powerful. Knowledge really is power, back then one could be killed if he/she knew too much. Today the more you know, the more you are worth if you apply your knowledge.

Learning opens new doors to practically anything from a new skill, trade, language, culture, meeting new people, and so on. Followers and leaders alike must never stop learning.

Education and knowledge is humanity’s greatest weapon, the old days of sticks and stones are long gone!

Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to read this article about how leadership qualities. I hope you’ve learned something from this extensive guide. Please share and you can even use it on your own website or social media, just credit my website. Please leave a comment and let others know. I enjoy reading and answering every comment and want to spread my knowledge and value to others.

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