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7 Qualities of an Extraordinary Leader

The art of great leadership can be learned.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There’s a difference between being the head honcho at your company and being a leader. Great leadership transforms a good company into an amazing company. 

The good news is that everybody has the ability to improve their leadership ability. Great leaders are made not born. And at the end of the day, great leaders need to exemplify the actions they want to see.

Related: 37 Quotes on Motivation From the World's Most Influential Leaders

Look through this list and decide on one area you want to grow in. (If you’re not sure where to start, seek feedback from those who know you!) Commit to developing one of these skills over the next 30 days. Make a goal that every day you are going to do one thing to exemplify that attribute. Once it feels like second nature, move on to another attribute on the list.

When we refuse to settle and expect the best from ourselves, we become better leaders and inspire our teams to give the best versions of themselves.

Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

Values people

An engaged leader sincerely values their people. When you value your people, the culture of your business shifts. People will want to work harder for you and help you achieve the vision you have for your business. 

You can have the best offers, coolest office, and cutting edge tools, but if you don’t win the hearts and minds of your people, your organization is never going to become great.

Related: 22 Qualities That Make a Great Leader

Tom Werner | Getty Images

Develops talent

To be a great leader, you have to help your people develop their talent and unlock their potential. This requires getting to know them and their strengths.

Think about what your employees are good at. How can you help them grow? Look for opportunities that will open doors and develop their talents. 

Klaus Vedfelt | Getty Imaes

Makes connections

A true leader creates connections, not just between themselves and the people on their team, but between the team members themselves, and between their team and their customers. 

You have to set the example that building strong connections is a part of your culture and your company. Carve out time to connect with your employees and get to know who they are.

Related: How to Delegate Better and Become a Great Leader

Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

Creates ownership

The best leaders create a culture of ownership in their companies. That requires you stepping up and showing ownership yourself.

Nothing takes your credibility as a leader away faster than being a hypocrite. Your people should know that they can count on you to do what you say you’re going to do. 

10'000 Hours | Getty Images

Takes responsibility

Even the best leaders make mistakes and fall short, but what sets them apart is that they take responsibility for their actions and work to make it right.

Let your team see you own up to your mistakes. You’ll earn their respect and set the precedent that your company values personal responsibility.

Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

Communicates directly

If you want to be a better leader, you can’t shy away from communication, even when conversations are tough. 

You have to set an example of what open and direct communication looks like. Don’t blame. Instead, always be working toward positive resolutions in your conversations with everyone. 

Related: To Be a Great Leader, Be a Great Talent Manager

PeopleImages | Getty Images

Lets other people take credit

A true leader doesn’t need to take all of the credit. You are there to lead your team, and that means that everybody gets the chance to shine. Your team’s success is your success

A truly engaged leader enables and empowers everybody on their team to shine.