Are you a great leader? Answer these 5 questions to find out!) 9/29/2014 <p>Merriam-Webster defines a leader as someone who "has commanding authority or influence," but that

Are you a great leader? Answer these 5 questions to find out!

Merriam-Webster defines a leader as someone who "has commanding authority or influence," but that's just the beginning. Real leadership -- the kind that creates lasting personal success and long-term impact -- takes real skill. Do you have the qualities of a great leader? Take a look at these questions to find out.


1. Do I like other people?

Above all, leaders like people and woe to the leader who doesn't. Leaders have to deal with people all day long. In the context of leadership, liking people means recognizing the dignity and worth of others, no matter what. Being willing to accept and include others creates a more powerful leadership stance (and can tamp down a raging ego). Don't worry if you're introverted or shy -- you can still make a great leader if you respect what others bring to the table.

2. Am I brave?

Leadership takes guts. It can be scary to find yourself at the head of the class or the center of the pack. Note that the word is "brave," not "fearless." Real leaders push through fear to see what comes next. They withstand adversity whether or not they're afraid. Leaders show up again and again. This one-step-at-a-time attitude separates the real leaders from the false ones.

3. Do I love learning?

About 69% of business leaders surveyed said it's important to have a mentor. Learning from those who came before us is one of the most important skills a leader can possess. With the right combination of curiosity and the desire to get it right, learning can create watertight leadership skills.

4. How good are my listening skills?

It's been said that listening skills are leadership skills. In fact, a great leader may listen much more than he or she speaks. That's because understanding the situation and respecting other people's input gives a leader the information and strength needed to make stronger decisions.

5. Am I willing to try again … and again … and again?

Here's a great quote from a great leader: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill knew a thing or two about success and failure, but one thing is certain -- he never would have reached his leadership potential if he didn't know how to dust himself off and try again. Persistence, resilience, and even doggedness: these are the traits of a great leader.

Ready to focus on building your leadership skills? Explore our programs in the Graduate School of Business and Management, which include a master's and doctoral program in organizational leadership.

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