What makes a great leader?

A great leader is someone whose legacy continues even if they’re gone, like Steve Jobs. To me, Steve Jobs is one of the most inspiring leaders ever, but I admire Alan Trefler just as much. I respect their intelligence, vision, and extreme motivation.

I quietly and humbly aspire to one day be like them. If you too are looking for an additional leadership and business reference, I strongly recommend reading Build for Change by Alan Trefler. Reading this book was my personal first conscious step into business.

Just like Alan Trefler, I also aim to motivate others whenever I can. Based on what I’ve seen and experienced, I created a list of key imperatives a true and inspiring leader must never forget about.

Don’t fear change—embrace it: Be built for change. Expect the unexpected.

Don’t fear taking risks: Only those who never try—lose.

Let your team lead, share responsibility with them: When they learn and succeed, you succeed.

Let your team make mistakes: They will take a risk once or twice and lose, but the third time will be the charm.

Be transparent: Share knowledge with your team.

Be honest with yourself and with your team: There’s no greater mistake than being untrue. Keep in mind that your business persona is pretty much the same as your attitude towards life in general. There’s no crossline between these two. That’s why it’s so crucial to stay true to yourself, live a balanced life. Whether good or bad, whatever is going on in your personal life will affect your work.

Walk in your team’s shoes: There’s no better way to understand what drives your team—what motivates them, what is an obstacle for them, what stops them from being better. Be their helpful teammate, rather than an exalted and distant boss. Believe me, you will not know all that unless you actually try.

Be respectful and empathetic: It’s very easy to lose someone’s trust, but so hard to win it back. Sometimes even impossible.

Be motivated, positive, and creative: Surround yourself with inspiring people.

Set clear and achievable goals: Share them with your team. Let them know what do you expect of them.

Make decisions and create future plans for you and your team: Nobody will do that for you.

Rise fast after a defeat: Don’t waste your time and energy. Stay positive and try again.

Never blame others for your mistakes.

Never give up on your dreams and career goals: Remember that good things happen unexpectedly. Just be patient.

Never stop learning.

Believe in yourself.

Now think about your surroundings. Is your boss or manager a true leader? Do you admire him or her? And, last but not least, what kind of leader do you want to be?

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