Leadership success does not belong to a select few, but those willing to learn and link to the mindset of great leaders. The question is: What is the common thread in great leaders? Great leaders have specific attributes, behaviours or habits that make them competitive. Here are the 16 “Ds that will make you stand out and influence:
Deep inner knowing
As you walk through life every day, know that you are great and God purposed you for greater works. You are a special being. Walk in the consciousness of knowing that you are God’s best creation.
“God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth”, (Gen 1:26-28, AMP).
Great leaders are dreamers. They put the future in pictures and pay all the necessary costs needed to put it into reality. Vision is a core driver in all successful leaders. Without a vision, it’s like driving without a map to a place you have never been.
Great leaders have learnt to do what they are passionate about. They lead in an area of interest and they become experts. In fact, they like to do their passion to an extent that people pay them for it.
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Develop the leader in you
Great leaders are lifelong learners. They seek for more opportunities to develop and improve their uniqueness, talents and personal abilities. You might be born with potential, but there has to be a process to improve it to a level of being fully fledged.
The late Dr Myles Munroe once said that a seed has potential to be a tree, but it takes the process, such as planting, watering, cultivation, heat and nutrition, for it to be a tree. The seed has to be put into the ground, watered and cultivated until it becomes a tree, so is the leader in you. The biblical Solomon teaches us to sharpen our skills. He says: “If the axe is dull and its edge unsharpened more strength is needed, but skill will bring success,” (Ecclesiastes 10:10, NIV)
Develop other leaders
The true measure of a leader is his/her ability to reproduce him or herself in others. That means being able to groom and grow others to be like you or better than you.
This is giving responsibilities and authority to an individual or group of people. This is an important skill that a leader has to master. You cannot do everything alone.
Great leaders accomplish great things when they are accompanied by a great team. The leader should be confident in the ability of the team members; this makes the followers confident in their leader.
Any serious leader has to be dedicated to the fulfilment of clear-cut goals and objectives. Success takes undivided determination and unshakable inner-drive.
The leader has to be relentless. There are times when the atmosphere looks worrisome. Leaders should exude confidence and be dedicated to the fulfilment of the dream at hand.
What separates a leader from everyone else is the power to think and make crucial decisions. The quality of a leader’s decision determines the quality of results. The leaders are employed to think, think and think. Most people think the leader should sit in a big swivel chair in a big office somewhere and call the assistant to bring tea. No!
The purpose of a leader is to offer direction. Direct people you lead to a greater destiny. The corporate image or state of any company represents its leadership. This means the leader has to be able to direct his personal life first before he leads others.
It’s very unfortunate that most leaders would not agree to the aforesaid, but the leader is everything to an institute. Secondly, the current direction of your life is not entirely because of your outer causes, but the direction that you have built in you. You are the leader of your destiny.
Success takes great discipline. It is achieved by ordinary people with extraordinary determination. Most of our success is not achieved on the stage, but in our private daily rituals. A great recital is first achieved in our private rehearsals. One has to do daily, what the majority do occasionally. It’s never easy in the process, but the harvest is great.
Dump all trivialities
All great leaders know time-wasters and choose to focus on important matters. Great leaders know that they have to pay now and play later and that is what greatness calls for. They understand that time is money. In fact, time is life. You use money to buy part of someone’s time, which is their life, so that they execute a duty for you. Or you sell your time (or life) to someone you are working for.
Dance with stars
Look at the people in your inner circle; are they an asset or a liability? Wrong people ruin your dream. Your inner circle of people should be able to impact to you spiritually, financially, mentally, professionally and emotionally. Hang around people that fear God because they carry a special presence and they have aid from angels (Psalm 34: 7).
Take time to find strength from God in prayer (Luke 18: 1, 1 Thessalonians 5: 17). The Bible says, “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. “... They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31 KJV).
Detoxify your mind
The mind has to be constantly cleaned of all images that fly by. This reprogrammes or transforms your mind. The Bible says, “be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]” (Romans 12:2, AMP)
Retrain your tongue to talk you to the top. This helps recondition your mind as you create a new normal. “Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways” (Job 22: 28KJV).
Great leaders never substitute excellence for anything else. They know that their image speaks more. They would rather not do a thing than have it half-baked. Their joy is to be of great service and excellence to humanity. This sets them apart from the majority.
The leader has to possess a positive mindset. Storms will always come. He should not just go through them, but grow through them. When morale is low, it’s the duty of the leader to enthuse himself and others with a positive attitude.
You cannot keep winning when you sit on your laurels. Great leaders are looking for means to destroy what they created. They do this by creating new and better models. Technology teaches us that what was relevant and effective yesterday might be useless today.
Parting point: Stan Slap says: “When you’re a manager, you work for your company. When you are a leader, your company works for you.”
Think about it and enjoy being a great leader. Remember, great leaders think differently, act differently, behave differently, relate differently and have great intuition.