Many leaders would probably pick another job if they could. The pressures of having so many people relying on you, having so many decisions to make, having to always be strong….it has to be a lot. But they know they have a job to do, and somewhere in their minds they believe that they are the best people for that job. That is what makes them leaders.
You have to be a people person if you want to be a leader; leaders can’t just lead themselves. They have to know how to communicate and interact with their subordinates. A king who treats his subjects well will enjoy many years of long and successful reign. A king who doesn’t will shortly find himself walking to the gallows. At least that’s how it was back in the day.
Having an unshakable core to support whatever decision they have to make is important for those in the leadership role. Many choices can be tough, and without a steadfast center, leaders would never be able to make peace with a potentially dangerous decision; every time they chose wrong, the guilt would be unbearable.
No one wants to be led by anyone they don’t believe in. People want leaders they can’t rely on, leaders they trust, and if the person leading them constantly falters or seems unsure of themselves, they will inevitably be replaced. This is why a leader has to be confident at all times. When a situation hits him dead on, he has to be able to hit back with equal force, outlining a course of action with determination and conviction.
One of a leader’s most important jobs is to make the decisions others can’t. Whether it is a matter of moral ambiguity or one of great and possibly tragic outcome, leaders have to be able to choose well and live with that choice. This is perhaps the heaviest aspect of a leader’s job. Because if a bad decision is made, all the blame falls on the leader.
Close-mindedness is never a tasteful trait in any human being, least of all those in leadership positions. Being secure in your ways means you can listen to the input of others, know your path is right, and be able to communicate how and why. And, if you are actually wrong, listening to the words of another can illuminate your mistakes and potentially save you from disaster.
And, last but not least, a leader needs backbone. They have to be able to stand up for what they believe in, even when facing enormous opposition. Without this quality, one cannot be a leader.
A lot goes into the pot when cooking up a good leader. There is no perfect recipe, and it varies from person to person, but one thing can be certain. Leadership is about shouldering responsibility and making the best out of what you have. Do that, and you can’t go wrong.