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What makes a great leader?

Leaders make their actions do all the talking

Year 18th July 1980 was a landmark day for India. Dr. Abdul Kalam was the leader of the ISRO team which successfully launched Rohini satellite into the orbit. The missile man conducted the press conference along with his team. But, his success was not easy, nor was it isolated.

Year 10th August 1979 was another landmark day for India. This day, we failed to launch Rohini satellite into the orbit in the first attempt. This time, the press conference was led by Dr. Satish Dhawan, the ISRO chairman.

You might be wondering what he would have delivered in a callous situation? He just uttered these words: “We failed! But I have a very good trust in my team that next time we will be succeeding for sure”.

A true leader leads from the front in the face of crisis and takes the blame upfront. Similarly, in the face of success, a true leader lets the team lead from the front.

Now the question arises, do you think, you need power and position to be a leader? No, not at all. All of us have the leader in us, either consciously or unconsciously.


great leader
Explore the leader in you.

In this blog, I will elaborate on the top qualities of any leader. If you have this quality in you, take it to the next level. If you don’t, you could consider adopting some of them.

1. Vision

A leader is a daydreamer. Confused? A leader has a vision and he daydreams about it relentlessly. Further, the aura that he creates amongst his subordinates attracts them to his vision. Like a magnet that strongly pulls the iron towards itself, the vision of the leader attracts his followers towards himself. Hence, if you want to be a great leader, be visionary par excellence. For example, Barack Obama’s vision for America struck the right chord with the audience. The result, we all know the stunning consecutive tenures as the President.

2. Innovative

Rome was not built in a day. It is a result of hard work, patience, perseverance, and innovation. Innovation makes you stand apart from the crowd. Innovation gives vent to your creativity and takes you on a higher plane as the leader. For example, the life of Ratan Tata is an apt example of innovative leadership. Post-retirement, Ratan Tata has been actively involved in funding innovative startups. This is the mark of a great leader, he never lets innovative ideas go unnoticed or unsupported.

3. Positive

He fought, he raised his voice against discrimination. But, in vain. Further, he was jailed for twenty-seven years. Nevertheless, his determination and courage stood unshaken. He remained positive throughout and dreamt of seeing his country free of apartheid. The positive and visionary leader was Nelson Mandela who has become an inspiration for generations to come.

Positivity is the hallmark of a true leader. A positive person never loses hope even in the jaws of death. He finds a solution to any crisis by hook or by crook.

4. Humility as a leader

It is one golden quality that keeps you grounded no matter how high you fly. Hence, humility is of pivotal importance for leaders. A long-lasting and strong relation gets formed with your subordinates upon exhibiting the quality of humbleness. Moreover, humility is the easiest way to build trust and forge relationships. For example, Gandhiji espoused a humble demeanor that made him stand out gentle amongst giants of his era.

5. Emotional Intelligence as a leader

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your emotions as well as that of others and the ability to handle the same. A leader has to deal with a diverse group of people with different characteristics and emotional levels. At this juncture, emotional intelligence helps him think from the shoes of his subordinates. This results in better resolution of conflicts. Hence, it is rightly said that ‘Attitude decides your altitude in life’.

6. Empathetic

Empathy and leadership
Leader and his quality of empathy

“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler

Empathy is one quality that sets apart good leaders from a great one. The perspective of a leader changes with empathy. He is able to better judge his teams’ requirements and make a healthy judgment. An empathetic leader stands by the poor and the destitute. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation by billionaire Bill Gates supports education, health cum sanitation in poor and destitute countries.

7. Integrity

If you are a leader with integrity, you are hard to be replaced. Leaders with integrity espouse truth, no matter how hard it may seem. They never mince their words and lead with dignity. When a leader is integral, the subordinates have unconditional faith in him. In other words, they are rest assured that the decisions are taken in a good spirit.

8. Leader without a title

The world knows a handful of leaders. On the other hand, there are innumerable people who are doing selfless service behind the curtain. Jadav Payeng of Assam single-handedly planted an entire forest. Bal Pandian of Tamil Nadu took commendable steps to conserve avian species around Koonthakulam Bird Sanctuary.

They are the true leaders, who lead without a title. They could always remain invisible to the world, but their efforts are no less than the well-renowned leaders.


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