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26 Qualities That Will Lead You to Greatness

Here are 26 ways you can become a leader whom people actually follow--not because they have to, but because you're inspiring them to greatness. In the words of John Quincy Adams, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." Great leadership has the potential to excite people to achieve extraordinary things, which makes leadership among the highest of callings. Measure yourself against these 26 attributes and ask yourself how you can lead from your very best qualities:

1. Authentic Be genuine and reliable, trustworthy, and always the same person. 2. Brave Develop courage in the face of risks--and bad outcomes. 3. Character-driven Character resonates with people and impels them to follow and trust. 4. Decisive Determination and daring make great leaders unshakeable. 5. Engaging Connect with enthusiasm, empowerment and encouragement; remember that everyone can make a positive contribution. 6. Fearless If you are brave in your thinking and daring in your actions, you can accomplish anything. 7. Goal-oriented Goals provide governance to vision and mission, guiding people and organizations to a meaningful purpose. 8. Humble Leadership with humility means service to others, ownership of your own mistakes and failures, and openness to learning. 9. Inspiring Leading with intuition and intelligence gives everyone around you room to grow. 10. Just Always seek to be guided by truth and reason; be a champion of equality and fairness. 11. Knowledgeable Be so well informed, learned, and cultivated that people are drawn to you for their own enlightenment.

12. Listener Good leaders speak; great leaders listen. When you're listening to others, you're learning from them. 13. Motivating Mentor and encourage those around you. Inspire them to take chances. 14. Noble To be a great leader, live in a way that draws others to emulate you. 15. Optimistic To lead with optimism is to be confident, cheerful and positive, leading to openness and opportunity for all. 16. Progressive Keep moving, increasing and growing, and pioneering new frontiers. Those around you will gain energy from being part of a dynamic enterprise. 17. Qualitative Always choose quality over quantity; hold yourself and those around you to the highest standard. 18. Reliable Show people they can count on you in good times and bad by living up to your word. Be dependable and consistent. 19. Supportive When you're encouraging, caring and sympathetic and helpful, offering feedback both positive and negative, you give those around you the confidence they need to persist. 20. Trustworthy People are reassured by dependability, reliability, credibility and competence. Have faith in those you're leading, and they will have faith in you. 21. Unbiased Be impartial and open-minded; hold to the value of listening, learning, giving chances and being open to opinions. 22. Visionary Be innovative, imaginative, and perceptive. What differentiates great leaders from the rest is they not only have plenty of ideas but also commit to carrying them out. 23. Wise Wisdom in leadership is more than just being wise--it's using that wisdom to give insight and inspiration to others. 24. Xcellent (with apologies for the liberty in spelling) Aim for distinction and virtuosity, motivate yourself to always give your highest quality effort. 25. Yearning One test of a true leader is a constant longing and hunger. Always be looking to be more, do more and make a difference in a big way. 26. Zealous A devout drive to be dedicated to something bigger than yourself fuels a fierce passion to be help others be successful. Embrace that intensity and put it to work to better the world. When you embrace these attributes from A to Z, you walk the path of great leadership. Begin now and see where you end up.

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