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11 Qualities Of A True Leader

  • By Black Life Coaches
  • /
  • October 1, 2014
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By Dr. Terry Jackson

Sometimes we may choose to lead and in other circumstances we are pushed into leadership. Successful Leadership is a demonstration of a true example. If you expound on virtues or techniques that you do not follow or demonstrate yourself, those that follow your leadership will fail and then wonder why. This can only reflect badly on you as the leader. Teach and live what you teach to be the type of leader that will stand the test of time.

Leaders learn.  They understand that the moment they become un-teachable, they lose their edge in the world. Leaders not only understand that they must continue to find opportunities to learn, they crave every chance to learn. Brian Tracey, the nationally recognized guru on Leadership, encourages those seeking leadership successes read at least one hour every day.  Commit to learning for the rest of your life and embrace the opportunity to do so.

Leaders listen. They understand the difference between passively hearing and actively listening to what people are telling them.

They also have the wisdom to know who is worth listening to and who is not.  Some people just like to hear themselves talk, but they never actually say anything.  A janitor may have a very worthwhile story to tell that teaches wisdom on human behavior while a millionaire may be stuck in his own ego and simply enjoys the sound of his own voice, never really sharing anything worth the time.

Leaders develop discipline.  Discipline becomes the corner stone in their lives. They learn to develop more discipline by curbing instant gratification.  Learning to say no, when they can say yes is the road to discipline. Leaders discipline themselves to do necessary tasks even when they do not feel like.

Leaders take time to be quiet.  Successful leaders are generally very busy people with little extra time in their schedules.  However, the most successful leaders take 15 to 30 minutes every day to be absolutely silent.  They remove all distractions and noise to sit within the calm of a completely quiet surrounding.  In this precious silence they can hear themselves think and feel.  In this way they develop their intuition, which guides them with all their decisions.

Leaders are compassionate.  They know that kindness trumps bad behavior. That softly spoken words are heard with understanding and that yelling at peak volume simply becomes a battle of wills.  In short, leaders care.

Leaders don’t wait for other people to do it for them. Nothing stands in the way to accomplishing their goals, certainly not excuses.  They are people of action.  However, they do understand when it is good to be patient and when it is time to go forward.  They also understand the value of delegating. Delegation is vital to great leadership. They just make sure that those they delegate to actually get the job done.

Leaders manage their time.  They understand time is the only commodity that they cannot get more of no matter how successful they become.  So they treat it with great respect.  They manage their time by planning their days with precision.

Leaders are persistent.  They work doggedly to accomplish their goal no matter how long it takes.  Persistence is not an option.  They know it separates them from those that would have and those that could have but didn’t.

Leaders focus on the positive.  A leader keeps his eye on the end result and always maintains a positive outlook, regardless of current circumstances.  They think in terms of solutions rather than problems.  Leaders understand that they are in command of their own thinking.

Leaders also value failure.  The average leader will fail many times before he succeeds.  They are undaunted by the failures and view them as golden opportunities to get closer to their goal.  Leaders understand that failure is not the end of something hoped for, but a chance to learn to do it better next time.

Leaders are authentic.  They know that their clothes and cars do not make them successful as human beings. They are authentic in their approach to life, which includes their day-to-day living.  Their spoken principles reflect their actions.

Leadership is the desire to excel and to share what is learned on the path to success.  As a leader it is important to be generous but authentic with praise.  Those learning in your footsteps need to know when they are getting it right. Given too often, praise can lose its meaning.

It takes time to incorporate all the principles of leadership so it’s important to be patient.  Strive to incorporate one leadership principle a week and within a few months you will be demonstrating the true qualities that define and set apart a true leader.

Terry Jackson

Terry Jackson, holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Change. He is a member of BlackLifeCoaches.net and managing partner for WEpiphany.

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Black Life Coaches

BlackLifeCoaches.net offers Certified Life Coaches to the Black community that you can trust. Our life coaches and coach-clinicians come from all professional backgrounds, all training organizations and all professional associations who share a common goal of changing lives for the better.


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