What makes a great leader?


Great leaders tend to think differently than most people. In fact, people in the role of leadership do very little thinking before acting. Thinking is a leader’s most important skill and tool.

Great leaders adopt the mindset of growth, abundance, excellence, success, and relentless, unwavering pursuit of their goals. We will call these people “Growth Leaders.”

A Growth Leader is someone who creates, inspires, prepares, and directs a team to consistently perform, individually and collectively, at its highest level under the most challenging conditions in pursuit of a shared, valued goal.

Growth Leaders do not believe that talent and ability are fixed. They understand that abilities and skills can be nurtured, encouraged, and developed through effort, perseverance, and examining the learning process. They believe that effort, perseverance, and learning from failure can improve performance for themselves and their team.

Growth Leaders actively seek ways to encourage and inspire others to regard effort, perseverance, and learning from errors as the route to mastery. Leaders who foster a growth mindset within their organization realize that the results achieved by their approach also reflect their own leadership skills and abilities.

Growth Leaders lead from the guiding principle to “inspire, to aspire, to desire, to catch fire, to go higher,” and they embrace and hone these 15 attributes:

  1. Realist, optimist, and opportunist.
  2. Love to learn and think about what they learn.
  3. Good listener.
  4. Always see potential in others.
  5. Kind person.
  6. Resourceful.
  7. Good communicator.
  8. Create and maintain great relationships.
  9. Like to win, have fun, and celebrate.
  10. Confident and self-aware.
  11. Prepared to take a stand for their beliefs, values, and ethics.
  12. Don’t panic in difficult situations.
  13. Solution-based thinker who thinks “what box?”
  14. Happy to give away credit and take blame.
  15. Realize attainment of all their goals will be with and through others.

Adopt the mindset of a Growth Leader and realize that, as Zig Ziglar famously said, “You can have everything you want in life as long as you help enough other people get what they want.”

Growing others is one of the highest callings in life. A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. Just as metal sharpens metal, one person sharpens another.



We are not capable of leading in a manner that is inconsistent with who we are as people at our core, regardless of the style we claim to embrace.

In other words, you will lead based on your mindset, attitudes, beliefs, values, emotions, needs, experiences, conditioning, knowledge, skills, people you are leading, situations, etc. And yes, you will follow your heart.

Follow your moral compass and apply your personal standards of excellence, passion, caring, drive, and desire to grow yourself, those who follow, those you serve, and the community.

Leader as person

Ask: “How can I lead from a position of respect, trust, and loyalty?” The answer to this question, and the foundation for gaining the respect, trust, and loyalty of your team, is not in how you lead but rather in the kind of person you are and the relationships you build with your team.



Ask: “How do I show my team how to be high performers individually and collectively?” For you to get your team to perform its best, you must know how to perform at your best consistently.



Ask: “How do I build an inspired, aligned, and productive team capable of meeting our biggest goals?” One player can’t carry a team. Rather, everyone must work not only to fulfill their individual responsibilities, but also collaborate effectively to get the necessary results.



Ask: “How do I ensure that I’m making the best possible decisions for my team and the company?” Your goal is to create a framework and process that will maximize the chances of your team making good decisions.



Ask: “How do I transform our company into an agile, collaborative, and purpose-driven force that is prepared for the challenges that lie ahead?” You must create a culture that can adapt to a marketplace and economy that are constantly changing.

Execution of personal excellence in these five roles will ensure your probability of success, and while personal excellence is laudable, excellence achieved through others is admirable and rewarded now, in the future, and for eternity.

Pass on your passion. When you share your wealth of knowledge, you grow your fortune that pays back, pays forward, and multiplies with compound interest.

See more articles from this issue here!