Leaders are everywhere—you don’t need to have a title or a position to be a leader.
What makes you a leader is defined not by your role but by who you are. You don’t need to be the boss to be in charge. A leader can be anyone, despite their title or tenure, regardless of their position or power.
Here are 17 actions and traits that make up the core of leadership. If you have them–You are a leader. If you don’t, and you want to lead, start today to cultivate these habits.
1. You keep raising your own standards. If you’re always doing better, doing more, and working with excellence, you are a leader.
2. You offer solutions instead of concentrating on problems. If you’re known as a problem solver or someone who brings ideas to make things better, you are a leader
3. You share what you know. If you believe in helping others do their best by making sure they have all available information, you are a leader.
4. You are an effective communicator. If you’re a clear, concise communicator, you listen to learn, and people are drawn to what you say and how you say it, you are a leader.
5. You are a connector. If you like to connect with other people and connect other people with each other because you understand that leadership is about relationships, you are a leader.
6. You have a voice. If you have a distinct voice, one that defends values and purpose and inspires others to follow, you are a leader.
7. You seek to collaborate and contribute. If what you do is about facilitating contribution by leveraging collaboration and you seek to contribute to change, you are a leader.
8. You know how to stay calm in the storm. If everyone around you is in panic, stressing out and spinning their wheels, but you know how to stay calm and be resilient when things are tough, you are a leader.
9. You are first on board. If you take risks and make bold moves by being the first on board, you are a leader
10. You have earned respect. If people respect you enough that you’re in a great position to influence others, you are a leader.
11. You don’t take things personally. If you can be the kind of person who doesn’t take things personally, if you respond rationally rather than emotionally when you don’t like someone’s tone or words, you are a leader.
12. You are trusted. If people trust you, that means you are known for doing the right thing the right way. When you do, you have impact and you are a leader.
13. You don’t gossip. If you hold yourself to never speaking ill of others, to their face or behind their back, you are exceptional—and you are a leader.
14. You harness positivity. If you are the kind of person who sees the bright side of things and finds positivity in what they do, you will have people aligned with you—and you are a leader.
15. You exhibit confidence. If you exhibit confidence (whether you feel it or not) that keeps you at the front of the pack, you are a leader.
16. You give credit to others. If you work with others and you openly thank them and recognize their contributions, you are a leader.
17. You set the example. If you make yourself accountable for your actions and how you behave, your actions will always matter, because you are a leader.
Lead From Within: It really doesn’t take a fancy title or important responsibilities to be a leader. All you have to do is lead wherever you are with whomever you encounter.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
- Leadership Has To Be Earned
- 90 Powerful Ways to Become a Highly Successful Leader
- What a Leader is not…
- Why You Need to Lead With a Higher Standard to Succeed
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.
28. Jun, 2016
For me, nothing gives me great joy than earning the respect from my peers. It’s just something about a healthy competition with yourself to keep striving and breaking goals.
I also learned that not taking things personal goes a long way. People are just wrapped up in their lives. It’s not personal. It’s just how it is. Once we learn that we can listen to others opinions and say. Doesn’t necessarily mean we have to agree but it just gives us a different perspective that can lead to a new idea.
28. Jun, 2016
I absolutely love this!! You are right. Leadership should start from within ! Thank you Lolly.
02. Jul, 2016
Great post, Lolly. Where did you learn all this wisdom?
05. Jul, 2016
From smart and thoughtful leaders like yourself, Robert.
02. Jul, 2016
Showing to the public that everything is possible,positive altitude is one of the key tools for them to copy.thanks.
04. Jul, 2016
i have been touched by these life changing posts on leadership ,thank you Lolly,we need more of thes
04. Jul, 2016
It’s interesting to see how many people use their “title” that’s on their business card to leverage the leadership role and demand respect when truly they are short of anything but. Lolly, you are 100% correct, leadership starts within and it supports personal growth towards being a true contributor in the workplace and in life!
06. Jul, 2016
Thanks for your post. It is clearly expressed and referenced.
I really liked Your article “Top 10 Qualities of Highly Successful People” on Medium. Thanks so much!
07. Jul, 2016
Dear Lolly, This is Simple, excellent, great ..Can be even used as a benchmark.. On of the best reads.. Thank you
05. Nov, 2016
Hi Lolly, thank you for this excellent article. I found myself agreeing with each and every one of your 17 points, and sad that there wasn’t a #18!
10. Dec, 2016
Hi lolly am motivated thank you.
08. Apr, 2017
You’re not afraid to stay until the end.
If you are the first to arrive awesome. BUT if you’re the first to arrive and the first to leave, we have a problem. Leaders stick it out until the end. Leaders lead by example and if those you lead see you packing it in early, so will they.
08. Jun, 2017
what i liked in this article is that you made the word leadership very easy to be reached , and the qualities are so true since i found in every leader i encountered .
21. Jul, 2017
Great post, as simple as true. Thank you Lolly!
All you have to do is being genuine, transparent and trustful! I tried a couple of times an excellent sensation of belonging, unity, support and confidence, all these given back by the team when passed over tough situations. It’s been amazing, I felt really happy and fulfilled because we did it TOGETHER. We acted as a single one, that was a real team!
22. Feb, 2018
Thank you Lolly, I agree with all the 17 points, would it be possible to send me an exercise for each point or case study, this will help in follow up.