Alexander the Great. George Washington. Winston Churchill. Augustus Caesar. Queen Elizabeth I.
All of the above are great leaders for various reasons. Alexander the Great amassed the largest empire of the ancient world in 13 short years —all before the age of 33. George Washington defeated the most powerful empire of the eighteenth century —all with a rag-tag army. Winston Churchill led his small island nation against a threat against the entire world. Augustus Caesar established the longest lasting peace and prosperity (Pax Romana) of the ancient world —well over 200 years. Queen Elizabeth I is the reason we all speak English instead of Spanish thanks to her defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. The English language also began to be standardized under her reign.
What made all of these leaders great? How can we be leaders in our little worlds, be it in business or our community? Opterre consults business consultants to success. We believe success begins with the person. And leadership is cultivated.
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES LEADERS?
- The ability to inspire. There is power in numbers. If you can’t convince others to follow you, you’ll never achieve your dreams. Leaders are great orators (think Martin Luther King, Jr), great visionaries, and great communicators. The ability to motivate others to help you is one key to great leadership.
- They have a vision. Alexander the Great’s driving force was to conquer India and China. Unfortunately, he died before he could accomplish this, and his men were beginning to weary of fighting. He had a goal. All great leaders need to have a vision of where they are going. The individual steps in-between can be clouded; the vision must be crystal clear.
- They have focus. Once you have your vision, laser-like focus is necessary to make it happen. It’s the day-to-day decisions and steps that lead to the vision. Dreams and visions are powerful. Focus on them to turn them into reality.
- They have a purpose. This purpose must be powerful. Winston Churchill believed if England didn’t defeat Hitler, Hitler would take over the world. His purpose was to protect England at all costs. He was focused. He was determined. He succeeded.
- The team matters. If there’s nothing in it for your team, they won’t follow you for too long. You can unite around a common goal (such as getting a product to market by a certain deadline or ridding a country of foreign invaders like William Wallace tried to do). You, as the leader, have to be able to convey that goal effectively.
- They foster loyalty. Nowhere is this more evident than Napoleon. He escaped his exilement due to his loyal soldiers. A leader evokes loyalty wherever they go, which is cultivated around and from the preceding points.
- They possess unrivaled passion. Whatever the goal (whether to conquer a country or gain women the right to vote such as was Susan B Anthony’s goal), the leader believes wholeheartedly in the venture. He or she lives and breathes the goal, vision, or dream, and through his or her example, inspires others to do so as well.
- Belief and confidence permeate everything else. A leader believes in his or her abilities to get the job done, to lead a team to success, to win the battle, to win the war no matter the circumstances. He or she is confident despite the inevitable setbacks that occur. He or she has the mental capacities to push through any barrier, be it physical or mental.
- They delegate. Using your team and listening to them is what makes leaders great. You are just one person with 24 hours in your day. If you delegate, you multiply that to infinite means. Trust others and use others.
- They fail with grace. We as humans are fallible. We will make mistakes. We may even have to pivot a few times. Leaders own their mistakes, take responsibility for their mistakes, and learn from their mistakes. They grow. They bloom. Which is what all of us yearn to do.
Opterre believes leaders are like you and me with just a few defining characteristics listed above. Leaders have the courage, the vision, the fortitude, and the integrity to stick to their guns when they have to or fold their cards when they’re defeated. Leaders lose with amazing grace and return the stronger. In essence, leaders don’t quit.
Opterre believes leadership traits can be cultivated. If you find the one thing you are passionate about and what to change or do, then you are unstoppable; if you have the skills to persuade others to aid you on your journey to success, if you delegate your dream to those who believe in it, if you inspire others to take up their sword, if you persuade the enemy you are right, and if you have laser-like vision with the goal of convincing others why your vision is worth the fight, then all of your dreams will come true. Opterre cultivates leaders. Contact us today to become a leader!