5 Things the Great Ones Always Do

Success is not a zero-sum game. Excellent leaders know that their achievement does not depend on someone else’s failure. There is more than enough success to go around. The most effective leaders are not afraid to help others reach their goals; they believe in the power of the win-win situation.

Zig Ziglar always said that you can get everything you want if you help enough others get what they want. In order to do that, you’ll have to have an attitude of openness. That may require a change of mind.

No team will follow a selfish leader. The team may establish a good work regimen and perform well, but unless the members respect the leader, it will not excel.

The best leaders display the virtue called humility. They discover real worth in terms of their ability to generate team excellence, not personal recognition. Here are five marks of greatness in a leader.

  1. Focus on Results, not Recognition

Great leaders don’t care who gets the credit as long as the team wins. Actions take precedence over accolades. Goals are more important than gold. Ribbons are incidental to right behavior. Excellent leaders don’t draw attention to themselves; they express appreciation for the contributions of others.

  1. Put the Mission First

Excellent leaders are willing to put the mission ahead of their personal agenda. They’ve discovered the greater joy of giving their lives for something worthwhile. The purpose, mission, and objectives of the organization are paramount, while the personality and personal achievement of the leader are secondary.

  1. Be Quick to Forgive

Excellent leaders are quick to forgive. Little people hold grudges; big people forgive and forget. Little people nurse insults and look for revenge; big people let bygones be bygones. All great leaders are big people. They earn respect, but never demand it. They avoid petty squabbles and develop thick skins.

  1. Celebrate the Success of Others

Excellent leaders delight in the achievements of others. They realize that they themselves can never accomplish all they dream; others must carry out their vision. So they invest in others, encourage them, train them, and enable them to succeed.

  1. Direct Praise to Teammates

Excellent leaders give credit where it’s due. They know that they are highly skilled, yet they realize that their success depends on the contribution of others. They know that there are no “little people” in the organization; every person’s contribution is significant. Excellent leaders know how to say “Well done,” and they say it often.

Enjoying great success does not depend on having a great ego. In fact, the opposite is almost always true. Those who think the most of themselves are usually respected little by others.

Former Georgia governor and businessman, Sonny Perdue, said, “My philosophy of leadership is to surround myself with good people who have ability, judgment, and knowledge, but above all, a passion for service.” I agree.

What about you? What traits have you seen in great leaders around you? I’d love to hear your answer on Facebook or Twitter.



Featured Resource | Outstanding Leadershipol1-2

With more than 40 years of leadership experience, Stan Toler knows what it takes to empower people to reach organizational and personal goals. He cuts thrugh the mystery and confusion and provides clear guidelines to help you accomplish vital leadership tasks, including…

defining your vision, developing your plan, and communicating clearly to help people buy in to your shared goal overcoming common leadership challenges to create a culture of success building strong relationships and effective teams that make working hard worthwhile.

You’ll find all the tools, tips, and practical guidance you need to help individuals and groups reach their highest potential and fulfill their God-given purpose.