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What a Great Leader is Made Of

September 23
by
JEFFREY LEONG
in
Inspirational People
with
.

To many people, being a quality leader may be distinguished as a person with great bravado and a dazzling command over a group of followers. 


For a person to be a good leader, some believe it is necessary to have an egocentric personality, constantly expressing their superiority.  Leaders are assumed to be known as larger-than-life figures that capture the attention of a crowd as soon as they step foot into a building.  Any believers that think these qualities are the key to leadership will never become a successful leader.

I was once one of these believers and didn’t consider myself capable of becoming a leader because I didn’t have the aptitude to be an assertive, commanding egotistic.  I didn’t think I could be the captain of my high school soccer team because I wasn’t an authoritative person.  I never thought I was fit to be the student body president because I lacked command.

Little did I know, the aforementioned characteristics are insignificant to becoming a great leader.

The books “Tribes” by Seth Godin and “Good to Great” by Tim Collins have altered my perspective of what it takes to be a great leader.  These authors have instilled the confidence that I have needed to take the next step in life and start leading my own tribe.  Anyone can become a leader.  Being a leader doesn’t require a specific make-up.  Everyone has the same opportunity to become a leader, it’s whether or not you choose to be one.  In Seth Godin’s eyes, being a great leader starts with taking initiative in whatever it is you believe in.  If you have a strong enough belief in an idea, the passion you have will project itself and followers who have the same passion will join the movement.

In the past few years, based on Godin’s views, I would have been considered a “sheep-walker”.  I kept my ideas to myself, I did what I was told, and settled on being content with everything.  But in the recent year, I’ve begun to walk away from being a “sheep-walker” and pursuing to be more of a leader.  Being a leader doesn’t mean you have to be the CEO of a large company, one can lead from anywhere within the organization.  I’ve been interning for a few months for this sports company that is getting ready to launch by the end of the year.  A team of us had been given a project, to analyze and scout players performing at the NFL combine.

Not many reports were being posted on a regular basis so I took the initiative and began to post as many reports as I could every day.  Other team members saw the passion I had and followed suit because they had the same passion.  I tried to help any team members who were struggling and give them any tips that I had picked up.  I would try to spark up new ideas to help enhance the project.  I wasn’t doing all this to look good for the CEO, but all my actions have been done to help benefit the organization and I believe that has been evident to the rest of the team.

If I received any compliment for any of the work, the first thing I’d say would be “Thank you, but the rest of the team had a lot to do with it, they deserve most of the credit.”

One must have a “blend of personal humility and professional will”, an excellent description from Jim Collins on what it takes to be a great leader.


One must have the will to do whatever it takes to help the organization grow and reach new limits and in doing so, they must also be able to keep a leveled ego through modesty and humbleness.  The quote of “personal humility and professional will” is going to be ingrained in me for the rest of my life.  Now, I’ve made it a ritual to say every morning when I wake up.

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