One question that I’m often asked is whether or not I believe every person can be a leader?
My answer: yes and no.
I answer “yes” because I think every person has the potential and the responsibility to lead oneself well. I believe leadership does start with you. You and I must learn, practice, and hone our ability to lead our own selves well.
But I also answer “no.” Not everyone is equipped or capable of leading others well. While we all have some level of influence with those around us, it takes a special person to step up and inspire, organize, and move a group of people in a certain direction…together.
In a room full of people, I encourage everyone to lead themselves well. But not everyone will be called upon to be a leader of others.
Here are some of the characteristics I look for in determining those who show potential in leading others.
You might be a leader if…
1. You want to make a difference.
2. You are more people-oriented than task-oriented.
3. You are a lifelong learner and grow from each experience.
4. You admit your mistakes and you own your shortcomings.
5. You help others answer the question of “What now?” and “What’s next?”
6. You consistently maintain good character in both the good and bad times.
7. You aren’t content with the way things are and you can envision a better future.
8. You are able to bring a diverse group of people together around a common cause.
9. You don’t have to rely on a position or title in order to inspire and motivate other people.
10. You show the initiative to move forward with your dreams by enlisting others and acquiring resources.
11. You are willing to take responsibility for a problem and unwilling to blame others for your circumstances.
12. You have ideas and dreams that are bigger than your skills and can only be accomplished with the help of others.
Another aspect of good leadership is the ability to see potential in others.
What other characteristics would you add to this list for identifying potential leaders?