For quite a while now, leadership gurus have been insisting that everyone can be a leader. Yet, despite the validity of this opinion, exceptional leadership skills are not acquired overnight. In fact, great leaders are creatures of habit and, as such, they have picked up and stuck to several behaviours along the way which have helped them transform into the compelling leadership figures they are. Here is an outline:

1. They are authentic

Great leaders know the importance of sharing everything with their people; even their flaws. They understand that their personal struggles have helped them get where they are and fully leverage them to become better, help their people become more resilient and ultimately attain excellence.

2. They strike a balance between confidence and ego

The greatest leaders know that being too full of one’s self leads to disastrous lapses of judgement. That is precisely why they are confident enough to encourage their people to believe in them without coming off as arrogant.

3. They are inherently eager to learn

Perhaps, this is the reason why great leaders always opt to be part of the action, favour open-plan workplaces and welcome new ideas regardless of the source. Curiosity is an inextricable part of their leadership style.

4. They have an “ongoing innovation” mindset

Great leaders are fully aware of the transient nature of success, tools and practices. Thus, they are always on the lookout for better tools, more efficient ways of getting things done. They motivate their people to follow suit and fully embrace innovation through their actions.

5. They delegate things

Part of their success is self-knowledge. Thus, they carry out the tasks they are best at -like providing direction and motivation- and delegate everything else to their people. Doing so, they demonstrate excellent resource management skills.

6. They never lie

Interestingly, their brutal honesty is first directed towards themselves. They will never shy away from taking responsibility for a wrong decision, thus empowering their people to model the same behaviour.

7. They share the spotlight

When success comes, they are the first to acknowledge their people’s contributions without taking credit themselves. They understand that success is not about them; it is about their people.

8. They are not managers

Having to manage a team entails a lack of trust in their abilities as well as a serious shortcoming on the leader’s part to truly motivate them to work autonomously without having to be told what to do. Great leaders provide direction, so they never have to manage their people.

9. They are great sources of inspiration

The best leaders can convince their people that they are kings of the world. Furthermore, they are very generous with the support and wisdom they provide to help their people overcome any obstacles so that they continue to grow.