2 Leadership Traits Needed to Become a Great Leader

The great Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, once said that there are three types of people: the people who make things happen, the people who watch what’s happening, and the people who haven’t the slightest idea of what’s happening. Today, as never before, our society is experiencing a pressing need for great leadership.

This need for leadership can be felt in our homes, in our business organizations, in our private and public associations, and in our government. We need great leadership more than ever before. And we especially need great leadership to take us into the future. We need people who have key leadership traits, they have a vision, courage, and the ability to chart new seas and break new ground.

Two Types of Leadership Traits

Leadership is the single most important factor in the success or failure of any business. Leaders are primarily self-made . . . they continually work to improve their skills and become more capable. In order to be successful in business, we need great leaders with two types of leadership traits.

  1. The first type of leader that we need is the transformational leader. This leader is a pathfinder, a visionary. These types of leadership traits motivate, uplift, inspire, and empower people to perform at levels far beyond anything they’ve ever done before.
  2. The second type of leader we need is perhaps the most important or foundational. They are the transactional leader. The transactional leader is the person who gets things done with and through others.

Great leaders use their leadership traits to motivate, inspire, and build a high performance team. Download my FREE report and leadership questionnaire to learn the types of leadership traits you desire by using the 7 Responsibilities of Leadership!

What is Great Leadership?

One of the major reasons that people go to work for any organization is because of the leadership. So what exactly is great leadership? Two excellent definitions of leadership apply especially to business organizations. The first one is: Great Leadership is the ability to elicit extraordinary performance from ordinary people. Another definition is: Great Leadership is the ability to get followers.

Leaders Are Made, Not Born

Leaders are made, not born. Nobody comes into the world as a natural leader. A person becomes a leader by, first of all, deciding to become a leader, and second of all, by learning the skills necessary to “elicit extraordinary performance from ordinary people.” Along a continuum of personalities at the very bottom are people who haven‘t the slightest idea about what is going on.

Then at the very top are those 1 or 2 percent of people in our society who really are the spark plugs in the engines of change. Every one of us is on that scale somewhere, moving up or down depending upon the things that we are doing and saying on a daily basis. You are what you think you are. Your self-concept determines your performance. You can become a much more effective leader by changing your self-concept, by changing the way you think about yourself as a leader.

Select Leadership Traits to Emulate

The starting point of developing great leadership traits is to begin thinking about the leaders you know, who you admire, and then to think about how you could emulate their behaviors. Think about the types of leadership that you could develop. In no time at all, you will actually begin to imitate their qualities and behaviors, and become a better leader yourself.

All great leaders were at one time good followers. All great leaders at one time worked closely with other successful leaders and learned from them and emulated their behaviors. The study of great leaders of the past and present is one of the fastest and surest ways to develop leadership traits and qualities. The more you study what constitutes great leadership, the more likely you will be to internalize the same values and behaviors. These values and behaviors will then be externalized in your actions and in your results.

Timeless Leadership Qualities

Today we find that the only lasting type of leadership is one that does not come from position, or from money or authority. It is what we call ascribed leadership, which occurs when people decide for themselves that they are going to follow the direction, the guidance, and the vision of someone else. In other words, it is a voluntary form of following that marks great leadership today. Great leaders have great leadership qualities and leadership traits that lift up and inspire people to achieve the same mission.

If you’re ready to see yourself as a powerful and successful leader, I’d like to tell you about my book, “How the Best Leaders Lead,” and the special bonus package I’ve created to complement it.

About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

  • Ben caleb

    Oh brain tracy you are a God sent, l love your inspiration because it’s really inspiring me lot, god use you to tell me the COURAGE TO TAKE RISK. l will following because l want to follow the Leaders not the Followers.

  • So good info
    Best Eegards

  • Great read. I have become a vocal proponent of mentoring programs. If you want to be a leader, mentor with a leader. As most things in our lives are learned from the time we hit this earth so goes leadership.

    Thanks for your article.

  • Thank you’ve benefited greatly thank you

  • Hello Traits Needed to Become a Great Leader is good

    • Brian Tracy

      I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the blog post. To YOUR success, Brian Tracy

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  • Sergio Rodrigues

    I think there is no other way – try to find a role model and emulate him.

    • Brian Tracy

      You are very welcome. Thank you for commenting and I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the blog post. To YOUR success, Brian Tracy

  • Traits Needed to Become a Great Leader is good

    • Brian Tracy

      You are very welcome. Thank you for commenting and I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the blog post. To YOUR success, Brian Tracy

  • Well said, Brian. We certainly need great leaders in business. Why don’t we have them? Mainly because the management/leadership educators and gurus are unable to tell us why our leadership is so inadequate and what exactly we should do in simple terms.

    Gallup surveys show that only 13% of our employees are engaged even though they dearly want to be. The problem is that leaders view their job as directing and controlling the workforce with some or all of goals, targets, visions, orders, directives, policies, corporate value statements, and rewards backed up by a bureaucracy designed to force compliance. All of these are attempts to tell employees what to do. Since no one likes being told what to do, these attempts are seen as showing disrespect thus leading them to be demotivated and disengaged and almost hating to come to work.

    Before we had all these educators and gurus advising executives, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz of WWII fame said “Leadership is picking good men and helping them do their best”. Hear that! “Helping” not directing and controlling!

    Everyone greatly appreciates being helped, especially if it done well. This convinces them that they are greatly respected and valued as employees thus leading them to become highly motivated, highly committed Superstars who literally love to come to work

    Yes, we need better leadership badly. Helping is very, very simple and has hugely positive effects both for the business and for the employees. It certainly was simple for me after I changed from directing and controlling.

    • Brian Tracy

      I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the post. Thank you for leaving a thoughtful comment. To YOUR success, Brian Tracy

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