How do you spot a real leader at a glance in a pool of wannabes?

Leaders come in different shapes and sizes, backgrounds and capacities. And I believe that we are all leaders in our own rights. However, there must be criteria that define a real leader even at a glance.

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8 Comments

  • Patrick Tay

    It seems that leaders are often defined by most common literature as someone who initiates action, is very vocal and very active in their social lives. If we are to observe this definition closely, it can be surmised that extroverts are often the ideal candidates for leaders, of which I disagree. And I believe that you probably will too.

    There are some leaders who are quiet, introverted and works behind the scenes to get things running. These individuals are sometimes known as "quiet leaders". Leaders who are often known to others often belong to the first category that I have described above, precisely because of the fact that they are more attuned to public attention and publicity. This is something that the "quiet leaders" often choose to avoid. Therefore, it will be good to note that not all "real" leaders are recognised for their achievements.

    Now, coming back to the question, I will say that it's not possible to spot a leader within a group of potentials. Even if one is able to identify one among many to be a true leader, there might exists a possibility that there's an even better leader among them: someone who is talented, subtle and tactful.

    And because of this, he or she will remain invisible, leaving us to wonder how is it ever possible for us to miss such a talent (and this is only if we ever have the luck to find out the truth).

    So, to answer this question, I will say that we will never know.

  • christi pemberton

    I am sorry, I meant to say that a leader sometimes has to have the courage to go against the grain.

  • christi pemberton

    A real leader sometimes has the courage to go against the grain. He/She does not allow the crowd to totally influence their position, although he/she will respect other people's opinion. It is important for a leader to try to see where someone is coming from in how they make their decisions. I have seen so many people who want to take on a leadership role buckle down under "office and social politics", where it actually cripples them from seeing their way clearly.

  • christi pemberton

    A real leader sometimes has the courage to go against the grain. He/She does not allow the crowd to totally influence their position, although he/she will respect other people's opinion. It is important for a leader to try to see where someone is coming from in how they make their decisions. I have seen so many people who want to take on a leadership role buckle down under "office and social politics", where it actually cripples them from seeing their way clearly.

  • Bonnie Wentworth

    A real leader can figure out if what he/she offers as a leader is what is called for in a prticular company and/or situation. A real leader chooses to add value in whatever way the situation warrents. And a real leader is willing to choose to leave a situation that doesn't evoke the best of what they bring as a leader.

  • christi pemberton

    A real leader sometimes has the courage to go against the grain. He/She does not allow the crowd to totally influence their position, although he/she will respect other people's opinion. It is important for a leader to try to see where someone is coming from in how they make their decisions. I have seen so many people who want to take on a leadership role buckle down under "office and social politics", where it actually cripples them from seeing their way clearly.

  • Merckh Fernandez

    Nathan, well said. Thank you for the comments. Yes, humility might be a simple and overused word but it's one virtue that's really hard to practice and be consistent. Those that endure and hold on to this make up a rare commodity of real leaders. Most likely those that listen first, think, then respond compared to those who just blabber and do nothing are the making up a company of real leaders worthy of emulation.

  • Nathan Minetti

    Charisma, confidence, speaks well, and is able to motivate are all signs of a possible leader. The one main attribute that belongs to a real leader is humility. The ability to say and know that he is only as strong as the people he is leading. A real leader takes all of the responsibility and none of the credit. Many people can lead but real leaders are hard to find.