“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
                          -Peter Drucker

Great leaders inspire others.  They motivate and make decisions that are going to impact change.  They might make mistakes, but they learn from these mistakes. According to an article by Paula Davis-Laak, JD, MAAP entitled Seven Things Successful Leaders do Differently, great leaders possess certain qualities that set them apart from others. 

1.  They put relationships first.  Successful leaders make time for their relationships.  They make people feel they are important, and continuously work to strengthen these relationships, whether it’s with clients, colleagues, people they mentor, or people in their personal life.

2.  They know that meaning matters. Great leaders have a vision of how their work is going to make impact on the world, and work towards that vision.  

3. They use humor. Leaders have to deal with stressful situations on a daily basis.  Successful leaders use humor to help reduce this feeling of stress and build positive emotions.

4. They lead and live with their strengths.  The most successful leaders know their strengths, and build a team with people who understand their vision and can be effective.  They understand the needs of their team. 

5. They manage pessimistic thinking. Successful leaders focus on the areas they have control over, and know when to move on when strategies aren’t working.  They also keep the mindset that bad situations will pass, and that they can only learn from the situation.  They do not allow one bad situation affect other areas of their life.  

6. They make their own luck. Strong leaders have a goal and pursue that goal.  They don’t give up when challenges arise. 

7. They manage their energy. Great leaders know when they are feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, and keep this in check by stepping back and taking a break.  This allows them to feel renewed and reenergized.  

When reading about leadership traits, we tend to picture those who have acted as leaders in our lives. But, it is important to consider that we are all leaders in someone else’s eyes and these seven traits point us in a direction for success in respect to those who depend on us!

Samantha Lingeman
Indianapolis, IN 

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