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5 things that make a truly great leader

5 things that make a truly great leader

The old-fashioned view of leadership is that a great leader will achieve success wherever they go. Successful leaders have a certain set of skills and attributes, and therefore they'll be able to take them anywhere and get results. Attributes like extroversion, charisma, and the power of persuasion. But the truth is, in the new world of work, what it takes to be a leader has changed dramatically.

Great leadership isn't about one set of skills or strengths. Today, great leadership is dependent on five key elements...

1. Vision

Leaders have to create a compelling vision for the future, combining the gathering of complex information from different sources with out-of-the-box thinking.

They need a clear vision of where the organization needs to be, and how they're going to go about getting there.

2. Action

Managing uncertainty and change effectively is crucial. But at the same time, leaders also have to show the courage, resilience and the ability to make sound decisions.

The importance of timing shouldn't be underestimated, either. Actions, however bold or important, should be carried out in a timely manner before the opportunity passes!

3. Impact

Leaders have to inspire others to unleash their potential and talent; coaching, mentoring and creating an environment where people aren't afraid to make mistakes.

They also need to create a shared sense of purpose and a culture of learning where enthusiasm for new ideas is infectious.

4. Connection

They should embrace and leverage diversity across perspectives and culture. A willingness to cultivate a common ground between people from various backgrounds, perspectives and cultures are a given.

They also have to show empathy and respect for the emotions of others, impacting them in a positive way.

5. Drive

And finally, it's vital that leaders confidently pursue challenging career goals. They need to want to learn more about themselves and demonstrate an eagerness to learn things outside their own realm of expertise.

They also need a thirst for learning and an openness to feedback - good or bad!

Essentially, they need an appetite to grow within the organization and a high level of self-confidence in their own ability to become a better leader.

It's important to remember the most important fact here: none of these elements alone is the correct definition of leadership.

Rather, each organization needs the right combination of these behavioral clusters to succeed in its particular business context, both now and for the future!

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