I have the best job in the world. I work in a great company, doing what I love in a large scale open source project, surrounded by talented people that I like and respect, and with all the resources I could ask for.
This environment can only be accomplished because I work besides great leaders, and even though they are different, they all share some qualities:
1. They are empathic
Great leaders have the ability to understand and relate to their community in a selfish, kind and open way. They know how to listen and they can make any group feel taken care of, no matter what size it is.
They don’t fake it, they truly care, that’s why they are loved.
2. They are brave
Great leaders are quick to decide and quick to change. They know who they are, what they stand for and where they are going. That’s why they can reverse engineer their goals. They are are quick to decide and act, and quick to pivot when things go wrong. They change and adapt.
“It is not the strongest of the species, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin
That braveness and sense of security makes them curious. Great leaders aren’t afraid of their ignorance. They are always willing to learn and they are constantly looking for new challenges to tackle.
3. They put themselves in the front line
A great leader would never ask for something he is not willing to do. Some of the best generals in history went to the front lines, and their armies defended them with their life, a devotion that drove victories against all odds. They lead by example and make sure to walk the talk.
4. They are patient
Great leaders are aware that things don’t happen overnight. This is not a matter of speed, most of them go fast, but they are wise enough to know when to stop and think, how to react on different circumstances and how to generate the conditions for their projects to flourish. Something that can only be achieved if they enjoy the virtue of patience.
“He that can have patience can have what he will.” Benjamin Franklin
5. They are grateful
Giving thanks can make anyone happier, but great leaders are truly grateful. They feel indebted to their surroundings and they are convinced that their achievements are due to their community successes. It’s a motivation that keeps them going.
Great leaders are not born or appointed, they are chosen. If I ever earn that privilege, I wish I can be as good as the ones I follow and admire.