Throughout history, leaders have emerged to move the general population in good or bad directions, according to the leader’s goals. The most influential leaders displayed specific characteristics that compelled others to follow. Although not 100 percent applicable to all memorable leaders, the following are often noted in those who take charge.
Most rulers, kings, and people in high places exude charisma, a personality essence that draws people to them out of fascination or sometimes fear. Some are physically attractive while others are dynamic speakers. Many are, simply put, able to charm anything out of anyone by their manner or confidence.
Those who have truly led among us, discounting others who hold positions of authority but are manipulated by behind-the-scenes agents, are not afraid to challenge the status quo. In fact, they are willing to topple the status quo if it will further their goals. They stand firm against opposition to claim their ground and refuse to give way. Often, they risk life, limb, or even just reputation to make a stand for their beliefs and goals.
A successful leader has a personal or shared vision that is prioritized to the exclusion of all else. The vision encompasses other aspects of life and commandeers personal strengths and capabilities to further the leader’s aims. Looking far beyond the here and now to what could be with planning and effort, the visionary leader has a strategy for setting and meeting higher goals and nobler aims.
Few individuals have rocked the world on their own. Most inspired countless others and established an enduring policy or program through supporters who continued to carry forward the leader’s legacy. These individuals promoted the vision far and wide, and in turn, left their imprint on their legacy that might continue down through countless generations. Talented individuals in their own right used their own resources and leadership style to keep it going.
Many leaders that remain worthy of study represented these four qualities or assets. Through effort and perhaps good fortune, they stepped forward and inspired others to follow their dream to a brave new world, one that might be fraught with danger and risks, but still an existence worth pursuing.