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This One Thing Defines a True Leader

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Leadership looks attractive to the outside eye, but it can be difficult to do. We all have the opportunity to be leaders, even when we don’t think we have a “team” to be a leader for.


Leadership is an important factor of everyday life—and understanding how to “lead well” is a complex, yet necessary aspect to it.

Acting as a leader can be enticing and attractive to the outside eye. Young people are especially drawn to the idea of being “at the top” and “the one in charge.” However, when one is actually called upon to lead, it can be difficult to do.

Be the person other people want to appoint as a leader, even if you don’t see yourself as one right now. That way, when challenges come, they will have someone to look to who believes they can surpass any adversary.

I often enjoy talking about what leadership is—and thinking about it as a general term. It is one of the strangest qualities to define. When we think of a good leader, it might be easy to rattle off specific desirable traits. However, if we are asked to name someone in our life who leads well, or whether or not our specific superior is a “good leader,” this may be more difficult due to the fact that people are complex creatures—and because leadership is hard. It is tested right at the moment it is needed, but it is curated in the seemingly unimportant decisions made up to that point. We may not truly know the valor of a leader until an occasion rises up when his or her qualities are necessary.

Once we get past the shiny outward appearance of “being a leader,” the realization that it is a difficult thing to do can be jarring. Leadership is not only challenging, but it is lonely. It will set you apart from a group. This seems like a negative aspect, but the truth is that we have to be set apart sometimes in order to lead others effectively.

Leading well is much easier to talk about than to execute. The effectiveness of a leader comes down to how their team behaves. If one’s subordinates feel encouraged, they will meet their challenges with determination and confidence. Teams not only need to be inspired, but they should be heard and encouraged by their boss, as well. This doesn’t just apply in a typical workplace setting. Instead, leaders come in all forms. Each person reading this has a team to lead – even if you don’t realize it at first.

So, how do we lead effectively? We do it in every moment we can – in the words of encouragement, the insistence to a friend to keep going in the midst of trials. We do it when we aren’t even aware we are leading.

Be the person other people want to appoint as a leader, even if you don’t see yourself as one right now. That way, when challenges come, they will have someone to look to who believes they can surpass any adversary.