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5 Qualities of an Inspirational Leader Common to the World's Best Loved Leaders

Updated on October 29, 2019

The "Iron Lady" - Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher


Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi | Source

Nowadays, people especially the millennials, are looking for someone they can look up to, a role model, a leader who will always take their personal needs into consideration, who will be able to encourage them, believe in what they can do and help them reach their full potential. The younger generation is looking for role models who possess these character traits:

Attitude of Service

An inspirational leader should adopt an attitude of service to the people they lead. He should be able to show genuine concern to the people, that he is concerned not only about their needs, but also about their aspirations, and their future. Martin Luther King, Jr said. "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." When you become a good leader, people want to follow you because they know you'll find ways to make their situation better.


To inspire means that you recognize the potential and good of others. As human beings, we have the tendency to become nitpickers, always finding fault and magnifying the mistakes of others. As leaders, you should imitate the attitude of gold finders who are always looking for gold mines. When they find traces of ore, they start digging because they might discover a pot of gold. In the same way that you should find the potential in every person that you lead and enhance and develop their positive traits.


Good leaders should know what their people want. People put so much importance on how knowledgeable their leader is but this is only of secondary importance for them. Again, John C. Maxwell said that they don't care how much their leaders know until they know how much their leaders care. When a leader addresses the needs of his people, they become committed and loyal to their leader.


Leaders inspire by devoting quality time with the people they lead. They make themselves available all the time. Spending time with your people is the most important proof that you value them more than anything. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that. "It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.


To be able to inspire, leaders have to be real. Subordinates want to be able to trust and believe in their leaders. But when leaders fall short of their people's expectations, they lose credibility and the people are frustrated. To earn their people's trust, leaders must walk the talk and always be transparent to the people they lead.

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© 2011 Zee Mercado


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