Defining Qualities of a Great Leader

By: Kathleen Ries-Jubenville   |    Read time: 3 minutes

Why do we talk so much about the great leaders of history?
First, because they have such a huge impact in the state of the world. Their actions create a shift in the hearts and minds of many - sometimes millions of - people for generations.
Second, because great leaders are so rare! There have been many leaders in history, but very few have have combined their huge levels of influence with high ethical standards. These are the great ones.
So, what are some of the defining qualities of a great leader?
A great leader responds to a problem - often an injustice - and courageously faces it head-on. They start a conversation and lead us through a challenge to create a solution.
He or she takes us from point A to point B, not always in a straight line, but always with clarity of purpose, a heart for people, and a vision for a better world.
A great leader has a heart of courage and love and a willingness to accept and carry the burden of responsibility and influence.
A great leader connects people, inspires people, and influences people to achieve great things. Things that make the world a better place for everyone – every color, gender, age, orientation, religion, and socio-economic class.
Great leaders are not self-absorbed or self-aggrandizing. They are confident and humble, in their service to others.
Great leaders are keenly aware of their own human resistance to sacrificing and serving for the benefit of others, so they do the hard personal work to overcome the ease of indifference with faith, humility, integrity, and wisdom.
Before you work for a boss, before you get engaged, before you cast your vote, before you follow anyone...evaluate their leadership qualities. No person is perfect. But are they even trying to be a GREAT leader? Or, are they trying to lead you off a cliff? Be careful not to be mesmerized by a strong and influential personality. Evaluate their motives.
Why follow a great leader?
If they truly are a great leader with pure intentions, and, if their vision connects with your heart for service, you can follow their lead and help them make the world a better place!


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