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What Makes a Great Leader?

Nov 9, 2007
You may have heard that great leaders are made, not born. You may know a great leader when you see one, but have you really thought about what constitutes somebody who has a potential to be one?

A Great Leader Is Not

1) Made through position or connections. Being in a leadership position or knowing great people does not make you a great leader.
2) Appearance in dress or manner. Five stars on a uniform does not make one. Nor does standing tall or talking proudly.
3) Made through intimidation or fear.
4) Made through unjust or unrighteous causes. A leader may possess nearly all the qualities of greatness, but if lacking in the ability to discriminate high value from low value, this sort of leader is the worst of all kinds.

A Great Leader Is

1) Made through investigating themselves thoroughly. All famous leaders from the past have a hunger to know themselves and engage in deep introspection.
2) Made through conscious control of emotions. Because they know themselves so well, they have fortified their mind from external forces, to the point where they choose what influences them.
3) Aware of objective reality and striving to gain knowledge from as many sources as possible to develop an accurate perspective.
4) Not easily intimidated by the powerful. Leaders get their power from within, no source shines brighter than what is inside.
5) Centered in spite of extreme pressure. Balance allows great leaders to make effective decisions; great decisions are the product of great leadership.
6) Severe in demanding more of themselves than they would demand of others. Personal discipline is built in to great leadership.
7) Unique in that they are both confident and humble. Confident in their cause and humble in their ownership over the Ego.

You will notice that qualities such as leading millions of people or winning a war are not qualities of great leadership. Circumstance or outcomes do not necessarily define a great leader. The qualities of a leader are what matter most. If any individual possesses these qualities, great leadership will emerge; whether on a local or world stage.

Chance dictates that some poor leaders will emerge victorious and some will fail, but great leadership overcomes great odds and thats the point. Failure does not define a great leader, leaders approach and response to adversity defines greatness.

A position of great leadership is not given but rather it is earned. A person possessing qualities that others admire in themselves and earn the position of great leadership if for no other reason, one hopes that by being in the presence of a good leader the secret to power over oneself will be revealed.

Full Potential Action Steps:
A) Do you have what it takes to be a great leader, why or why not?
B) Are you willing to do what it takes to be a great leader?
C) How well do you know yourself? (Rate on a 1- 10)
D) Are you willing to open your mind and seek out many sources of conflicting information to gain an accurate perspective?
E) What will it take for you to become a great leader? What will you have to do? What will you have to give up doing?
About the Author
James Rick Stinson is affectionately known as Mr. Full Potential. Author, Speaker & Entrepreneur. Learn how to grow your body, mind and soul at Full Potential today.
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