The fundamentals of leadership are well-known: Vision, willingness to step to the front, and integrity, to name a few.
Here are a few other leadership qualities that don’t get talked about as much. These are incredibly important leadership qualities. In fact, these are often the qualities that separate the best from the rest.
1. Grit. Unrelenting, unremitting tenacity. The stick-to-it-iveness required to press ahead despite the work being especially difficult…or boring. The ability to stay focused and grind it out even when the spotlight is shining elsewhere. The recognition that, as a leader, you’ve forfeited the right to make excuses. I love grit. How much grit do you have? (Take this ”grit survey” to find out.)
2. Resourcefulness. This might also be called “learning agility”. Are you willing to move forward on something even when you don’t yet know how you’ll do it, with the confidence that you’ll figure it out along the way? That confidence comes from resourcefulness. You can learn to be more resourceful; it requires a willingness to put yourself into difficult, uncertain, sometimes broken situations before you have the answers. Each time you do that, your resourcefulness grows.
3. Self-Sacrifice. Are you willing to sacrifice to support the efforts and well-being of others on the team? This is at the core of leadership in its highest form. It’s the opposite of narcissism. This requires a leader to engage with the team at a human level, not just an employee level. At the employee level, the focus is more on outputs—leveraging, extracting from people. At the human level, your focus is on inputs—investing in, caring for, and serving the people on the team.
Grit, resourcefulness, and self-sacrificing care for your team: immensely important qualities of great leadership.