7 Qualities of an Extraordinary Leader

The art of great leadership can be learned.
7 Qualities of an Extraordinary Leader
Image credit: Thomas Barwick | Getty Images
Guest Writer
Founder & CEO
4 min read
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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.

7 Qualities of an Extraordinary Leader

Values people

Values people
Image credit: Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

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

7 Qualities of an Extraordinary Leader

Develops talent

Develops talent
Image credit: Tom Werner | Getty Images

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. 

7 Qualities of an Extraordinary Leader

Makes connections

Makes connections
Image credit: Klaus Vedfelt | Getty Imaes

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

7 Qualities of an Extraordinary Leader

Creates ownership

Creates ownership
Image credit: Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

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. 

7 Qualities of an Extraordinary Leader

Takes responsibility

Takes responsibility
Image credit: 10'000 Hours | Getty Images

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.

7 Qualities of an Extraordinary Leader

Communicates directly

Communicates directly
Image credit: Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

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

7 Qualities of an Extraordinary Leader

Lets other people take credit

Lets other people take credit
Image credit: PeopleImages | Getty Images

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. 

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  • 7 Qualities of an Extraordinary Leader
  • Values people
  • Develops talent
  • Makes connections
  • Creates ownership
  • Takes responsibility
  • Communicates directly
  • Lets other people take credit
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