The following content is inspired by my keynote HEART OF A LION: The Essential Qualities of Courageous Leaders.
There are many different aspects that make up the complex psyche of a true leader who passionately strives for success for both themselves and others.
A leader has so many special qualities that it’s inspirational when you work with them. They possess an invisible aura that radiates confidence and challenges everyone around them to achieve greater heights than they would have ever dared to try before.
Here are 5 special qualities that are shared by courageous leaders:
1. Persistence and Focus
A courageous leader is not only persistent but also focused. Persistence isn’t good enough if your focus is on too many things at the same time. A passionate leader demonstrates an unwavering, focused persistence when tackling any challenge set before them. They keep the ‘big picture’ in mind and work steadily towards achieving the goal. Lesser people get distracted easily and find goals harder to achieve. A leader has a bulls-eye focus on their target. Nothing can distract them — and they inspire others to do the same.
2. Commitment is Contagious
There’s a huge difference between saying “I’ll try” and “I’ll do.” A courageous leader demonstrates a strong commitment to every task they undertake. They never “try” to do something — they “just do it”. When you work with a courageous leader and see honest commitment, it’s inspirational. It’s a bit like the children’s game of follow the leader. Set a bad example and others will do the same. However, make a firm commitment to achieve a high work ethic and be successful and others will follow you to the ends of the earth to achieve the same results.
3. Courageous Leaders Have Open Minds
Fear restricts people from doing so many things. A courageous leader’s passion opens their mind to opportunities ignored or not seen by others. Trying new challenges and taking risks is liberating because they are not frightened of failure. They learn from mistakes and try again. That’s courage. If it wasn’t for courageous people, you wouldn’t have electricity, telephones, airplanes or computers. Inventors are leaders because they take risks and learn from mistakes. Never give up. That’s the leader’s motto.
4. Concern for Others
Selfishness is not in the nature of an effective leader. They are authentic and care about the success of others and their personal well-being. They also genuinely want to help others achieve their goals and maximize their full potential. They are human and show this in many ways. A sense of humor is an invaluable trait because it eases tension rapidly and can help to form bonds between the leader and their team because they aren’t afraid to show the lighter side of their personality.
Concern is a two-sided coin. The soft side brings hope and renewed support to discouraged staff members. The hard side involves making others accountable for their actions so they take ownership of the results. When you combine the two sides, the result is a real desire to see others do their very best while achieving the organization’s goals.
5. Great Communicators
An effective leader must be able to clearly articulate their thoughts to the team openly and honestly. They don’t need to be polished speakers, but they need to communicate with clarity.
Leaders are humble because they want the team to succeed and will do everything they can to ensure that happens. Open communication means that people can express their views and suggestions freely and that all ideas will be listened to and judged on their merit. A good leader praises in public and provides corrective direction in private.
Great leaders inspire people because of their actions. They lead by example and generally prove to be good role models.
These are only five of the qualities that are shared by courageous leaders. The list is endless because everyone is made from their own unique mold.