What Does It Take To Be A Great Leader?

Throughout the course of history, it would be fair to say that the world has had both some brilliant leaders and some terrible leaders. While the easiest examples that spring to mind are famous heads of countries and powerful, visionary CEOs of companies that have had a huge impact on modern lives, the theme of good and bad leadership is one that can be traced down the ladder and applied to everyday situations like school, the office, youth clubs, sports teams, pretty much everything that involves some type of hierarchy structure.

It would be fair to assume that, at some point in your life, you have experienced both sides of the coin with regards to good leadership and bad leadership, so what exactly is it that makes somebody a great leader that people respect and want to follow? What are the qualities that it takes to be a truly great leader, whether it is the leader of a country or the leader of an amateur sports team?

The first trait that every ‘great’ leader has to possess is a strong likability factor among their peers. If you like somebody, you are much more likely to accept their elevated status. It is as simple as that and it runs all the way back to kindergarten where the most liked and popular kid was the one who often decided on what group games to play during lunch break. Being likable is an incredibly important factor in gaining leadership, as the majority of countries throughout the world hold democratic elections in order to choose their new leaders, and being able to strike a positive human connection with somebody is the most vital element of winning an election. Some people would call it charisma.

Alongside the likability factor is the ability to remain calm under stressful situations, situations that leaders are confronted with every single day. People like to see that, no matter how severe the problem is, there is a leader in place who will be able to approach the situation with a level head and try to work out the best outcome with making rash or damaging decisions. The possession of a calm disposition is something that many people are currently worried about with regard to American President elect Donald Trump, a man who seems to not be able to control himself as demonstrated by his frequent rantings on Twitter.

Another vital aspect that can be identified in great leaders throughout history is the sense that, amidst the responsibility of their jobs, they always had a total grasp and understand of what was going on at all times. The very definition of a leader is somebody whose status is elevated over others, and in order to be able to justify this position, said leader needs to bring with them a grasp of their title that is so solid and complete that, 9 times out of 10, they are able to make the right decisions without even having to think about it.