In the article “What Makes a Good Leader Great?”, a variety of characteristics of a great leader are listed; honestly, sense of humor, confidence, commitment, positivity, and an ability to inspire. The authors claim that these characteristics are learn-able. I agree those are important aspects, and that some are able to be learned, although I am not sure how easy it is to develop others. For example, I have not met many people who have learned to have a sense of humor. (This brings back memories of the scene in the movie when Borat goes to humor lessons).
Don’t take yourself too seriously…
However, you can always make the choice to not take yourself too seriously (which in itself is having a sense of humor). You can make the choice, to be honest, you can make the choice to stay committed, and as I stated in my previous article, you can choose to be confident. Leadership is not only an innate ability and learned skills, it is a series of conscious choices. You are always choosing to act in a certain way but are you always conscious of your choices?
I was once asked to explain leadership in 30 seconds or less. I said, Leadership is the ability to see what is needed for the greater good, and the courage to choose to take action to fulfill that need. Leadership is not about who you are, but what you choose to do. This is just as important in a small-scale situation such as a family environment as it is for a President, Prime Minister, or CEO. And sometimes, inaction is as much an act of leadership as action.
So, What Makes a Good Leader Great? The leader who makes conscious choices. You might not always be the “right” choices, but as a Great Leader, you will be open to feedback about the consequences of your choices and willing to make a different one when necessary.