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In the professional world, a leader can be a supervisor, manager, or CEO. Often, professionals wish to be seen as a leader. They seek to understand the concept of leadership and find the answer to a question asked by many: “What makes a leader?” 

American scholar Warren Bennis is considered a pioneer of leadership studies. Bennis said, “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. 

This myth asserts that people either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. 

Leaders are made rather than born.” So if leaders are made, the qualities they portray are what make them leaders.

A Leader Possesses Deep Commitment 

To convince others to follow, a leader must show they are committed to the task at hand. Dedication to a cause, project, or idea is looked upon as a positive trait. 

A professional looking to be a leader may want to know how to show their commitment. 

To show this, a leader should:

Develop Self-Discipline: The first way to show commitment is to use your willpower. Self-discipline is developed by setting goals and standards. 

Self-discipline may take the form of a schedule to follow if you are a freelancer, new business owner, or stay-at-home professional. 

When a person makes their schedule, their personal and professional life merge. This merge causes a loss of objectivity. 

Using a schedule and forcing themselves to stick to it, they use self-discipline to form a commitment. 

Be Responsible: To be committed, a person must also be responsible. A leader should consistently deliver on their promises. Responsible individuals create trust and provide a positive example to follow. 

Have Set Priorities: Commitment is making something a priority. Many times when discussing success, they use the saying “How bad do you want it?” When you lead a group of people, they will make the project or idea as much of a priority as the leader does. The leader is their model to follow. 

A Leader is Optimistic

One of the most effective qualities for a leader to have is optimism. A positive attitude is critical to creating an environment where others would like to work. The outlook you present will help motivate employees and coworkers. 

This attitude of optimism can help raise productivity and better the quality of work done. When leading others, remember, you are their source of inspiration. 

As a source of inspiration, a leader can use an optimistic approach to influence their team. The goal is to foster an environment where dreams become real-life goals. Optimism can be the difference between a day job and a career to be passionate about.

A Leader has Excellent Communication Skills.

The ability to communicate with others is an important skill. Ideas can be expressed in a variety of mediums. 

A leader should know how to communicate directly. Their speech should be eloquent but easy to understand. This communication will allow the message they are conveying to be absorbed by people of all backgrounds. 

Part of excellent communication skills is also the ability to listen. To communicate effectively, a leader should first learn silence. 

Learning to listen to others will provide insight on how to meet the needs of your employees.

A Leader Portrays Confidence

A leader should foster an environment where others feel their goals are possible. The leader can create this environment by displaying confidence. 

This confidence should be in your person as well as in the project. When communicating with your employees or partners, they should feel you know what you are talking about. 

Creating an environment of confidence will allow others to look to their leader in times of uncertainty. Having confidence helps them chart unfamiliar territory without letting fear or doubt incapacitate them. 

Confidence is often contagious. 

When presenting a pitch, investors will often look for confidence in the presenter’s demeanor. 

A Leader has a Trustworthy Character. 

An impeccable character is not only a great way to earn trust, but it is also essential for those who hope to inspire others. 

A character like this consists of honesty, integrity, and the ability to give and inspire respect. These are the components of a leader who has a personality that breeds trust and a feeling of stability. 

It is also helpful in situations where the only form of currency is trust and reputation. It is a well-known fact that people relate to others who share their moral code.

Respect breeds respect, causing a positive, professional, and productive work environment.

Leadership is not a trait everyone is born with. A leader can be made with the development of certain qualities. These qualities include commitment, optimism, communication skills, confidence, and a trustworthy character. 

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