4 Important Traits of Any Leader Worth Following
Do you ever look at a leader and wonder how they became a person of great influence?
How did they get their following? How did they build their platform? How did they find their tribe?
Unfortunately it is easy to confuse the idea of celebrity and leader. And the difference is important because they are two completely different pursuits.
Searching for celebrity results in trying to win a popularity contest, much like being in high school all over again.
Celebrity is about statistics. The number of people that retweet you. The number of Facebook likes you receive. The requests you receive to have you speak.
People become nothing more than numbers. Ideas a way to get the attention of others.
True leadership is something entirely different..
President John Quincy Adams once said:
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
Being a leader is about influencing others. It is about having ideas and dreams and then helping others to not only share in your vision but to begin taking steps toward that vision.
That vision will typically be one that benefits other people more than it benefits yourself. Being a leader is about changing the world for good.
In many ways, being a leader worth following is very similar to living a better story.
The quote reads as a way to evaluate yourself, but if you take it and turn it around, it can also be used as a road map to help you focus less on celebrity and more on becoming someone worth following.
1. Dream More. When we are kids, the sky is the limit. We imagine the impossible, never daunted by reality. When we become adults, we lose the art of dreaming big and replace it with a rigid sense of reality. Leaders are those that believe the impossible once again. They dream and they dream big.
Let yourself dream. Don’t hold back. Drop the word impossible from your vocabulary. Go ahead and solve world hunger. The crazier the better.
2. Learn More. A leader is always learning. They view the act of acquiring new knowledge not as a task or a job, but as a privilege. Every conversation becomes an opportunity to learn. Every mistake is a new lesson on how to do a better job. Every book contains some hidden gem that is theirs if they find it.
Never stop learning. Never stop growing. Become more knowledgeable and experienced every day.
3. Do More. An important difference between a leader and a dreamer is doing. It is not enough to develop ideas, you also have to execute. What good are the ideas if they are not put to action? How will they ever benefit anyone?
Turn off the TV. Ignore the internet. Start solving interesting problems and making a difference in the world.
4. Become More. The best leaders are not focused on the goal of becoming something. They ignore the temptation of fame or success. But because of their dedication to their work, they do become more. Becoming is a consequence of doing. And it’s worth it, with or without twitter followers.
When you dream, learn, and then do, eventually will help others become more as well.
Who are the leaders who influence you? How do they inspire you to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more?
Share in the comments.