Leaders are the most memorable people in history. Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the Great, George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., the list goes on and on. These people are memorable because they are inspirational, and they change the world that they live in through their exceptional leadership qualities. Whether or not you’re out to change the world, you can work on your own characteristics of leadership to achieve success in any field.

  1. Goals
    If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you ever going to get there? Without a specific goal in mind, your chances of achievement are slim to none, and successful leadership begins with a defined, focused goal. What are you out to achieve? Why will it matter? These are some of the things you’ll need to have in mind before you start thinking about success and leadership.
  2. Plans
    If you have a goal in mind already, that’s great. You’re one step closer to achieving it. But how will you go about working toward your goal? It is of the utmost importance that you have a plan of action in mind. The successful leader is the one who knows not only what he or she wants to achieve, but also how to go about achieving it. Revolutions are not built on whims; they need plans of action. Likewise, revolutionary ideas are practically worthless if the brains behind them have no clue how to turn a dream into reality. Whatever your dream is, think about definite ways to bring it to fruition.
  3. People Skills
    All successful leaders must be appealing to their people, or else they are doomed to failure. Political leaders are elected essentially on popularity. You’ll need the communicative abilities to express yourself and your ideas to your peers, as well as the interpersonal charm to win them over to your side. Machiavelli’s old sentiment that it is better to be feared than to be loved is an outdated concept from a bygone era. Win over your peers, coworkers, or employees with compassion, charm, and strong interpersonal relationships.
  4. “By Any Means” Attitude
    If you’re going to be a successful leader you’ll also need ambition to drive you to your goals, and dedication to get the job done. If you intend to sit around and delegate all day without putting in the necessary work, even your shadow won’t want to follow you. You’ve got to get your hands dirty. Don’t they say that if you want something done right, do it yourself? Well do it. People respect a dedicated leader who gets things done by any means. When obstacles present themselves, don’t just roll over and die. Find your way through, no matter what it takes.
  5. Inspiration
    If the world is made up of leaders and followers, leaders are those who inspire their peers. People need someone to look up to, who will know what to do about the problem at hand. Part of your personal strategic leadership program must be the development of this inspirational personality. When people are coming to you, they are inspired by you, and you’ll know that you’ve achieved success in leadership.