It’s guest post Monday! Kaitlyn Nakagoshi provided this guest post on behalf of The University of Notre Dame, in partnership with University Alliance. The University of Notre Dame offers executive certificates in leadership & management, and negotiations. There are also a number of online business classes available. To find out additional information about the courses offered please visit http://www.notredameonline.com/.
When we talk about great leaders, we often enliven the conversations with names of the rich and famous, but we may gain much more insight by discovering leaders who are not listed in Forbes Magazine. More often than not, those pursuing unconventional goals or those pursing established goals unconventionally have great leadership traits. Remember that the leaders who do not announce themselves may have qualities you do not want to miss.
Recently, the charity One World Action hosted an event called “One Hundred Unseen Powerful Women.” At this event, women from all over the world were nominated to make the list of those who are great leaders, but are not widely known. Many of these women have provided aid within very poor societies and have risked their lives almost every day. A gynecologist from Somalia, a journalist from Colombia, an entrepreneur from India—all are wonderful examples of people who did not allow fear to prevent them from taking action.
Fear of criticism from peers causes many would-be leaders to crumble. Best-selling author, Mark Stevens, believes that great leaders are unconventional by nature. While a skilled leader may rise through the ranks of a company, if the person pulls back at a certain point due to comments from colleagues and relatives, this shows that true leadership is not present. Perhaps they are accused of being workaholics or of considering themselves important. Essentially, there will always be people who will try to prevent a leader from rising. Abiding by socially accepted standards causes a person to stay within the crowd rather than stand out from it.
Sometimes a true leader is the one who fumbles. NFL critics can relentlessly pursue players perceived as being off their game. Still, a player who misses a receiver or overthrows a pass can have a hidden quality that inspires the other teammates. Character and willpower may amount to more wins at the end of the day of than play-by-play statistics. Leadership is not always obvious. It is a good idea to look at the larger picture and consider how a person’s inner quality appears to affect others on the team.
If you want to be an unconventional leader or inspire leadership in those around you, think carefully about what it means: the ability to see the bigger picture, make strong decisions, stay cool under pressure, understand people, adapt to new situations, stay positive and learn continuously. Notice how others will perceive you if you demonstrate these qualities. You will be someone who makes a decision based on a larger goal. You will not be bothered by criticism because you understand the motives of those who criticize and the genuine needs of those who do not. You will be ready to learn in new situations and well-equipped to face the world with a positive outlook.
Remember though – there are no perfect formulas in life. Rather than trusting ideas about leadership, be aware of those quiet leaders who may be providing inspiration. Think about someone you admire who is not a CEO. What leadership traits cause the person to be admirable? In what ways does this person stand out from the crowd and serve as an example to others? Finding the unconventional qualities of leadership that distinguish a great person may help you to find these qualities within yourself.
Question: What are some other unconventional qualities of a leader?