Lead the Way: How Excellent Leaders Forge Their Paths

Leaders are often remembered for their bold and charismatic personalities.  They become a kind of icon to the public, and we become fascinated with them.  Their wardrobes, their personal lives their speeches; these are the things that we focus on.  But what happens behind the scenes?  Here are some of the other qualities that accompany excellent leadership.

Be Decisive

No one can follow you if they don’t understand what you are trying to accomplish.  That is why being decisive – and being clear about the decisions you make – is an essential element of excellent leadership.  The ability to carve out a plan is no easy task, and is often interpreted as a sign of power (think about how we use “Executive Decision”).  Making concrete decisions and creating a goal worth pursuing establish the necessary platform for anyone hoping to lead.

Be Communicative

Time and time again, strong communication stands out as a marker of excellence.   This may seem ridiculous since it is a seemingly unavoidable factor of life, but effective communication is hard to achieve and cultivating efficient communication skills is actually a quite difficult task.  This is exactly why a strong communicator can be so impactful.  The other thing to keep in mind is that when people become leaders, what they communicate goes beyond the scope of what they say on a conference call or write in an email.  Because of their iconic status, those surface level qualities we mentioned (from their mannerisms to their clothes) become part of what we interpret.  The more attention you receive, the more your presentation becomes a part of what you communicate.

Take the Plunge

Talking about what you can or might do means nothing if you never actually take the leap and go for it.  It seems easy enough, but it’s rare that people truly embody the perseverance and stamina required of executing a plan.  Generating new ideas is exciting, but even the smallest paths are difficult to forge, and people often get weeded out in this phase of leadership.  Setting your own route and following through with its course shows the determination, ambition and independence that catches a crowd’s attention and inspires people to join you for the ride.  When it comes down to it, implementation will be what separates you from the crowd.