What Makes a Great Leader ?

What Makes a Great Leader

Have you ever wondered how to be a great leader?

I know I have.

You have those internal doubts about if you can truly lead.

But what makes great leaders?

Is it genetic?

Upbringing?

How does one person command such a loyal following and accomplish so much?

History is written by leaders. Both good and bad, pioneers have shaped and will continue to shape the world as we know it.

Winners dominate the history books and the legacies of the world. How will you be remembered? How do you want to be remembered?

There are two types of people in life: those who lead and those who follow.

Is one better than the other?

Probably, but that is not for me to decide. But how this relates to you is that entrepreneurs are leaders.

They are revolutionaries, with new ideas, theories, and visions of the future. Entrepreneurs challenge the status quo. Leaders who truly innovate individuals say “Why Not!” while followers respond “Why?”

I know I personally struggle with this. I question my ability above others to innovate and positively impact the world but these doubts of almost inevitable and universal.

After having spoken with many highly successful entrepreneurs and heroes I personally look up to I find these doubts and fears to be common as well. Entrepreneurs and people in general must constantly push forward regardless of the internal obstacles in their way.

Do that extra rep in the gym , conquer your fear of public speaking, just challenge yourself.

Starting a business, succeeding with your startup is a a lot like rebelling. You are fighting to revolutionize how the world works. Why are you doing this? What do you wish to accomplish?

Followers can be in charge too.

Go to most any large corporation with a history of success. Odds are the leaders of this enterprise, the CEO, CFO, president etc are leaders.

They fought and innovated to get to where they are. The problem with success however is that it leads to complacency. Too many businesses fight, not to improve or dominate, but to stay in power.

Individuals who were once risk taking entrepreneurs and warriors of business now take a safe approach to business. Why create a game changing product that could bankrupt the company if it fails when we can make whatever version 11.0?

The guy with nothing to lose and everything to gain is dangerous, but the guy with everything to lose and nothing to gain is boring.

There are numerous quotes to describe this phenomenon, but I believe the best one is by a Mr. Will Smith, the hardest working man in Hollywood.

“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die.”

Well leadership and success are embodied by this quote.

There is no stronger force or strategy their leading through action and determination. Leaders have a vision for how things should be and they sell that to others.

Instilling a strong company culture geared towards the sole operating goal of the company is crucial in defining the vision and path of your business.

Once your startup knows what and who it stands for your decisions will be easily identifiable and your employees highly motivated to succeed.

If a telemarketer calls you up selling a certifiably real time machine, you would never touch that deal. You know why? Because they will tell you the specs, the features, the advantages, and the fact that there is no competition.

Screw that. Lead every sales pitch, every interaction with your core values. If that same salesperson calls up and say “We want to make your life freak awesome! We want to help you visit you favorite time period.” 

The consumer buys that product every time. You need to be passionate about what you do and let others follows your values.

Instead of trying to sell your products, services and company vision, merely put it out there. Believe in and symbolize what you stand for and people with similar beliefs and outlooks will join with your goals.

People buy products because of how it makes them feel, not the intrinsic function it performs so if you are able to craft a story and vision in your industry you can become the visionary, the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk looking to push the envelope and change the world.

Communicate your vision and your followers who believe in your views will take up arms to fight for you.

So if you are one of those whacks that believed vehemently that the Earth isn’t the center of the universe or slavery is wrong or the world is circular, or any other wild and crazy theory, then get out there and fight for it.

Many may ridicule you, call you crazy, or any other assortment of offensive names, but still others will follow you and love you for it.

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