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Leadership isn’t something that only matters within the four walls of an office. Leadership, of course, can help someone recognition in business by being innovative or reliable. But leadership isn’t just for executives or managers. Leadership can extend to every level of life – leadership in family, leadership on a group project for a class or for an ambitious thesis project, or leadership in a lower-level job.

So what does a great leader look like?

Here are five of the most important leadership qualities that a person can bring into any area of their life to have better quality relationships with people and businesses.

  • Knowledgeable
  • Leaders are the people who have the answers, or know where to find the answers. They challenge themselves by always learning and having the most up-to-date information on hand and accessible.

  • Self-Motivated
  • Leaders are successful because they have visions and plans and they act on them. Whether that means they have a great idea for how to make a group project that goes above and beyond the minimum requirements or they see a project in their department that needs doing, they always go for it. They are willing to take calculated risks to achieve their goals.

  • Creative
  • There are all different ways to be creative – it’s not limited to painters and photographers. You can be creative with team-building, with a budget, with new software, with client management. The best leaders understand that and are excited by implementing new, creative ways of doing business and building relationships.

  • Ethical
  • Businesses, universities, governments, and even families all operate within an unspoken set of ethics. A good leader respects that. They are never only out for themselves – never willing to cheat their families, friends, or employees to get ahead, but always striving to build something together.

  • Humble
  • One of the most important qualities of a leader is humility – the ability to take ownership of mistakes as well as share successes. This kind of transparent behavior inspires trust in the people around them and makes for successful partnerships in the future. Leadership, after all, is about strong relationships and, ultimately, productive interactions between people.

Leadership can snag you a promotion in a job or a recommendation for an internship if you impress a professor. It’s important to develop these skills, because somewhere, something or someone is depending on your motivation and your creativity to solve a problem and be a great leader.

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