What makes a leader?
The truth is that it’s not what many people think, and leaders come in all shapes and sizes.
In fact, you may be a leader without even realizing it.
Here are the signs you’re naturally destined to be a leader.
1) You thrive in crisis
First up in signs you’re a natural leader, even if you don’t realize it is that you thrive in crisis.
No matter what happens, when things crank into an urgent situation you come into your element.
An emergency situation, a sudden violent incident, an accident, a natural disaster:
Many people run and hide or start complaining, crying or screaming in panic.
You snap into action.
You figure out what can be done and who can do it.
You’re strangely calm when the sh*t hits the fan.
Let’s not mince words:
This behavior is rare, and this is leader behavior.
2) You stick to your gut
The next of the signs you’re a natural leader, even if you don’t realize it is that you stick to your gut.
When you make a decision you follow it through and don’t second guess it.
When the stakes are high and there’s danger or risk involved, many people fold into a quite submissive posture.
They want someone to tell them what to do and where to go.
But we’ve all been in various situations where a clear leader quickly emerges.
It’s not always the “alpha male” or some stereotype.
Sometimes it’s you.
The thing about being a leader is that it isn’t particularly a choice: it’s an instinct from deep inside that says: “If I don’t do this thing that needs to be done, who knows if anybody else will. Let’s go!”
It’s that simple.
3) You are a trusted confidante
Next up in the signs you’re a natural leader, even if you don’t realize it is that people naturally trust and confide in you.
This may seem normal to you if it’s how your life has been, but trust me: it’s not!
Plenty of people don’t have anyone confiding secrets or vulnerabilities to them.
If you have people close to you, or even strangers, coming and telling you what’s in their heart you need to recognize the rarity and value of what you’ve been given.
For some reason, people see you as not only trustworthy but magnetic and inspiring in a certain way.
They want to come to you and confide in you.
They want your advice, your support and your ear.
That’s a beautiful thing, and it definitely makes you leader material.
4) Your standards are high
Next up in the leader checklist has to do with your standards.
I’m going to drop a harsh truth here, but I know that nobody would be reading if they didn’t think that I’m willing to do so.
So here goes:
The majority of people settle. They give up and they take what they’re given in life, or whatever comes easiest.
They’re not “bad” or inferior in any way. But they do settle, and they do betray their standards.
We’ve all likely betrayed our standards at sometime or slept with someone we shouldn’t have, signed a deal that was crap or done a job that was exploiting us.
The sign of a leader, however, is that you have high standards that refuse to be betrayed at the end of the day.
Even when you try to settle, the fire in your belly won’t die down and you need to get back on your feet and keep chasing your dreams.
You just won’t take “average” for an answer. Ever.
5) You take responsibility
One of the next signs you’re a natural leader, even if you don’t realize it, is that you take responsibility for what you do.
You are able to stand up and deliver when push comes to shove.
If you said you would complete a job by tomorrow, you do it.
If you fail to do it, you own that and you explain why. Maybe there is no good explanation other than that you were tired.
So you say that!
You take responsibility and be an adult about what you’re doing right and wrong in your life.
6) You take big risks
Next up in signs you’re made to be a leader is that you take big risks.
These aren’t reckless risks or risks just for the thrill of it, but they are risks.
You open a new business when everybody else says to wait and see what happens with the market.
You take leadership of a new department at work that’s experimental and could tank your career but could also take you to the stratosphere if it succeeds.
You lead, you take risks and you don’t second-guess it.
While others wait for the official green light, you’re out there hustling.
7) You own your mistakes
Next up in the signs you’re a natural leader, even if you don’t realize it is that you own your mistakes.
When you do mess up, and we all do, you admit it.
You also do your best to make up for it.
Leaders who don’t admit their mistakes or try to make up for them are also known as tyrants.
Tyrants aren’t true leaders, they’re just bullies and children in adult bodies.
As a true leader, you’ll find that you desire to make up for your mistakes and own them, and that the idea of pumping up your own ego or being worshiped doesn’t appeal to you at all.
8) You take setbacks in stride
Next up in the signs you’re a natural leader, even if you don’t realize it is that you take setbacks in stride.
When life goes against you, you don’t take it personally.
When projects fail, when relationships fail, when finances come up short…
You don’t take that personally.
You learn what you can from it and you move forward.
This is the stuff leaders are made of because the awful truth is that the majority of people do take such things personally and do embrace the victim mentality.
If you have gotten out of that trap, you are among the rare few and you are destined to hold a leadership position of some kind.
9) Pain motivates you
Next up in signs of being a natural leader is that pain motivates you.
For some people pain is a signal to stop.
For a leader, pain is a signal to push through.
Pain is worth it if the goal is worth it.
Pain on the way to victory is just a kind of pleasure.
Because you know with every step you get closer to what’s needed and what your goal is.
And as a leader if that means taking some hits on behalf of what’s necessary for the collective, that’s cool too, because it’s all for a worthy cause, and the cause is bigger than any one person.
10) You don’t give up
Next up in the signs you’re a natural leader, even if you don’t realize it is that you don’t give up.
When life gets tough, you get tougher.
Obstacles don’t define you, you set your own limits and you take challenges as a motivation, not a reason to give up.
You’re stubborn, determined and unstoppable.
You’re a force of nature.
You never back down.
You fight harder when the odds get worse.
You’re a natural born leader.
The truth about being a leader
The truth about being a leader is that it’s not about being better, more powerful or dominant over others.
The true leader uses his or her skills to serve others.
The true leader uses his or her talents to solve problems, not profit from them.
This is the enduring concept behind a servant leader.
Now to be sure:
Leaders sometimes have to make unpopular decisions or lead the way when nobody else wants to do much.
Leaders sometimes have to take flak that those they serve don’t have to deal with.
But at heart, the great leader isn’t in it for power or prestige.
The great leader is in it because it’s their nature to solve problems and lead.