Leadership is a skill, and like all skills, it can be learned and developed by people through a process of formal training, learning, practice and experience. Becoming a leader is a lifetime commitment to learning and development - a lifelong journey and not the goal. Leadership is a mindset, not a job title. Everyone has the potential to become a leader.

Leaders aren't born; leaders are made.

Iconic leaders come in all shapes and sizes. From Nelson Mandela to Queen Elizabeth II. Martin Luther King Jr to Jesus. Each leader is vastly different and there is no one-size-fits-all leadership style. Despite this, all great leaders share seven essential qualities.

1. They are resilient, tenacious and have a positive attitude

Attitude gives you no advantage during good times because, during good times, everybody has a good attitude. It's easy to lead and for people to get along when everything is going well. But as always, life happens, and things don't always go according to plan. The best leaders excel during challenging periods. Their resilience and tenacity are infectious. Guiding their team to overcome challenges during periods of adversity.

2. They cultivate an inclusive and collaborative environment

There's an old African proverb that says "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." A good leader recognises the importance of having a well-rounded, inclusive and diverse team. These teams think creatively to solve problems and cultivate an open, honest, positive and collaborative environment, where everyone feels empowered with the confidence to speak up and have their voice heard.

3. They have a likeable personality

All great leaders must be liked by those they lead, to earn their trust. Their likability gives them considerable influence and the ability to get the most out of their teams. They avoid leading through fear, which boosts their team's creativity, encourages people speaking up and lifts the overall mood and confidence.

4. They take the time to train and develop people

Succession planning and developing a pipeline of talent to eventually replace them is high on the agendas of all good leaders. Training, coaching, developing and equipping people with the right skills, knowledge and experiences to excel is the cornerstone of good leadership. Watching their team grow is the most satisfying and rewarding part of the process for all great leaders.

5. They motivate and energise their teams

They know how to drive their teams towards a common goal. They unlock the potential within their group, stimulate them and give them the confidence to push beyond their boundaries.

6. They build and nurture solid relationships

They know what makes people tick, what motivates and drives people, their fears and their concerns. They naturally connect with others, irrespective of their backgrounds.

7. Above all, they lead with integrity

Perhaps the most crucial point on the list. All great leaders do what they believe is right - at all times. Without compromising their integrity. They treat people with the care and respect they deserve. They're honest in their interactions and are guided by strong moral principles.


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