How do you know if you are a good leader?  Can the success of a leader be measured?  Is the success of a leader dependent upon their followers?

Understanding what makes a successful leader helps you understand the necessary components of being a good leader.  Success for a leader should be measured in the same way and should be based on the impact on those that followed the leader:

At the end of the journey, was the leader’s impact to those who followed them positive?  Did they accomplish their objectives?  Are the followers better people?  Are they motivated to strive to improve their lives at home, work and in their neighborhood?  Are they inspired to drive beyond what they think is their current capacity? 

Each team needs to start with a leader.  Leaders lead people and inspire or motivate them to want to do their best.  To do that, you need the ability to communicate vision, teach by example, make decisions, make adjustments, accept feedback, provide feedback, encourage, motivate, drive for results and build other leaders.

Personalities may vary and it doesn’t matter if you are a great public speaker, an extrovert or an introvert.  Leaders can come in all shapes and sizes and have a variety of techniques.  What matters is your ability to dedicate yourself to the service of others and set expectations and demonstrate your willingness to do anything in your power to help them succeed.

Too often when we hear the words ‘inspire’ or ‘motivate’ we connect with certain personalities.  However, remember that many of the great leaders use a variety of methods to communicate and inspire.  Sometimes they actually use other people to actually present the vision.  The key is that leading is an action word and implies that you are on a journey from point A to point B and that not only are you going on the journey, but you are leading others on the journey too!  How you go about it can vary from the approaches of other leaders.

Is the ability to lead something that you can develop or are you born with that ability?  My opinion matters only to myself.  What matters to you is your opinion and if you want to be a leader, you can be!  You should be willing to do what is necessary to help other people.  And chances are, if you start with that focus, you will do better than many others out there that call themselves leaders but spend most of their time focusing on themselves than others.

Not everyone wants to be the leader or the person in charge.  That’s ok too, because leaders and every team still need team members and followers.  Some of the best followers are those that understand leadership.  You can still continue to develop leadership characteristics without having to be in charge.  Being a leader among your peers is also valuable to you and the team.  Always be a student of leadership!