We know leaders when we see them, because we either watch others follow or are drawn to follow their instruction or example. We recognize the roles they play in leading humanity down a path different from the one people of their time were going. Galileo led our eyes to the heavens. Abraham Lincoln led a nation out of slavery. Henry Ford offered us the means to physically reach one another easier and faster than ever before. Mother Theresa directed our attention to the needs of the sick and poor. And Elvis Presley literally had us dancing to the beat of a different drummer. Perhaps, eventually we wold have followed someone else in any of those directions, but we didn’t. Those were the leaders we followed.
Researchers have identified a number of characteristics prevalent in leaders. Most leaders have a strong sense of vision and intuition. Communication and listening skills are superior. They also have a high energy level, the ability to function under stress, and the courage to think independently
Leaders must be able to handle living with the double-edged sword of the role. They are admired an loathed, respected and scrutinized, loved and hated. They are emulated and envied. They are for the people, but never of the people, which promotes periods of isolation and loneliness.
Its essential for leaders to have charisma. The perfect political candidate will never win without a hefty dose of charm. Followers must be attracted to them to believe in their goals and be persuaded to follow.
– Excerpt from Mentoring Heroes. 52 Fabulous Women’s Paths to Success and the Mentors who Empowered Them available from Amazon.com and my website. If you’ve read Mentoring Heroes, please write a review.