Ideal leaders are not born; they are made. Becoming a leader is hard work as one has to improve one’s character, career, charisma, and technical abilities. Enthusiasm and passion can help in this process, but you can’t rely on them alone.
For those rare individuals who can master themselves however, the sky really is the limit and incredible goals can be reached.
As Jim Cantrell, who worked alongside SpaceX founder Elon Musk said, the most important thing that moves and makes a leader is passion and enthusiasm.
Here’s how Cantrell described the situation that gave birth to SpaceX: “When he [Musk] came to me in 2001 he knew nothing of rockets or space exploration, but he was deeply passionate about them.”
We’ve analyzed the character traits of the most successful leaders of the most well-known companies and business projects. Of course, they are all very different, but common character traits can still be found. On the basis of these examples, we’ve created an average portrait of the ideal leader.
A leader is above all an independent personality. This quality is not encountered frequently and often entails that one doesn’t feel the need to assert oneself at the expense of others.
More often than not, such a person has the following characteristics:
- They constantly learn new things and don’t hesitate to admit when they don’t know something – because they understand that life is a path of constant self-improvement.
- They act as mentors to their subordinates because they know that the success of the company depends on the success of its employees.
- They see the best in people – because they know that there is no such thing as a perfect person.
- They build relationships on the “trust, but verify” principle – because they have experience with different relationships.
- They treat elders with respect, children with love, and those around them with acceptance – because good manners cost nothing.
- They tell the truth to your face – because the truth is always needed.
- They are not afraid to hire people who understand the work process better than they do – because they prefer to hire the best of the best.
- Their reputation is more important than money, status, or fleeting pleasures – because a good reputation is the most important thing someone can possess.
Finally, the ideal leader does what is right, not just what society dictates, because success can only be achieved via justifiable self-confidence.
An ideal leader also possesses ambition. At a certain stage in their life they realize that they need to not only achieve things for themselves, but also help others develop.
A leader’s ambitions should look like this:
- Achieving personal development to the extent that they accept themselves, life, and people as they are;
- Becoming number one in their business niche, country, and then on a global level;
- Fulfilling major charity projects;
- Achieving a company atmosphere in which employees are happy to become brand advocates;
- Retaining the drive to do remarkable things (such as piloting a spaceship).
When it comes to ideal leaders, their ambitions are never exhausted. If they’ve already achieved something, they immediately find their next goal and create a plan to realize it.
For the ideal leader, education is a constant process of self-improvement. A leader constantly needs new knowledge in order to deeply understand the work processes of their business and to successfully expand in related areas.
How does an ideal leader educate themselves?
- Higher education at a university;
- Online courses;
- Training through practice and problem-solving at work;
- Private consultations with professionals;
- Self-education through books, talking with interesting people and studying online resources.
Education is not a burden for a strong leader. After all, they are surrounded by people who are just as passionate about self-development as they are.
As for family status, everything is a little more complicated and is not as straightforward as in the previous sections. Marital status is very dependent on the type of leader. Some people simply need a happy family and a full house of children, while others can succeed as loners.
Interests and hobbies
As for the interests of an ideal leader, they most often involve some kind of intellectual or physical activity.
Many successful businessmen enjoy the following hobbies:
- Hunting or fishing (in Norway, for example)
- Extreme sports, such as snowboarding, skating, cycling, tennis, surfing, etc.
- Hiking or mountain climbing (e.g. the Himalayas, Kazbek, the Alps, etc.)
- Blogging (yes, many businessmen have their own YouTube channels or blogs)
- Traveling off the beaten path (e.g. Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Peru, Mexico, Antarctica, etc.)
- Collecting (e.g. paintings, cars, antiques, etc.)
Sure, some of these hobbies are expensive, but we are talking about the ideal leader who is completely satisfied with the financial component of their lives.
In conclusion, we’d like to say that when we speak of the “best referral leaders”, this doesn’t mean that such people don’t make mistakes. They do, but, they are able to derive useful experience from them and continue to move forward. This, in our opinion, is one of the most important character traits of a strong leader.