3 Characteristics of a Leader

Leadership expert John Maxwell told SUCCESS in April 2009, “Ego and insecurity are the two greatest land mines of leadership. Ego creeps in when you start not to value other people—when you begin to look at people as what can they do for you instead of what you can do for them.” He says there are three characteristics needed to become a successful leader.

1. Build consensus. Abraham Lincoln was great at bringing together the people around him to help make up for his weaknesses. “The fallacy of leadership is thinking if you can lead in one area, you can lead in all areas,” Maxwell says. Value the opinion of others before making a decision.

2. Practice humility. Instead of talking about their own accomplishments, leaders look to give the team the credit.

3. Take risks. Leaders are not afraid to step out and say this is what needs to be done. Winston Churchill, for example, stood alone against Parliament in his opposition to Nazism. “Churchill had the courage to do what he felt was right even in the midst of severe opposition,” Maxwell says.

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