How To Be A Truly Great Leader
Have you ever dreamed of doing something truly great? Here’s what the world’s truly greatest leaders all have in common…
Earlier this year, I met Jean Oelang – the CEO of Virgin Unite, Richard Branson’s not-for-profit organization.
Jean was involved in helping select a group of the worlds greatest leaders (including Nelson Mandela) to be a part of The Elders (read more about them in the box below).
As I read more about the inception of The Elders, I learned that a strict criteria was used to ensure that only people of the highest caliber were selected for the group.
I personally love this set of criteria and they spoke to me in a way that called me to become the kind of person who could have been selected too.
I’m sharing them here with you in the hope that they will call you to becoming a greater version of yourself and do something truly great in your life.
What Truly Great Leaders Have In Common…
Through a process of discussion and elimination, a set of criteria began to emerge for how to select prospective Elders.
- The first, and most important, was that they should not be currently involved in politics; they should have no personal agenda, vested interest or bias.
- They should have earned international trust, demonstrated outstanding integrity and built a reputation for non-coercive leadership.
- They should have displayed moral courage. In other words, they had been in some situation that had demanded them to stand up against oppressive forces, dictatorship or whatever.
- They should have made a real difference to very large numbers of people in some way that had dramatically changed their lives. Muhammad Yunus was a good example of someone who has devised a replicable and massively important technique for lifting people out of poverty, surmounted all the difficulties and actually made it work.
- They should have demonstrated that they can move beyond their own fear in a significant way. Nelson Mandela would be the obvious example there, having put up with 27 years of incarceration and facing fear daily in the early days.
- They should have the ability to listen.
- They should have a sense of humor – as all truly great people do. Archbishop Tutu absolutely epitomizes that. Interestingly, this wasn’t a criterion, but it emerged as a common trait of all the people chosen.
Imagine what the world would look like if the leaders of the countries of the world displayed all these traits?
What would your life look like if you adopted some of these traits?
P.S. Another trait that emerged was that all the members of The Elders also had an extraordinary relationship with their spouse. I wrote about it here.
P.P.S. If you enjoyed reading this, please share it below and leave a comment below. I want to know what you think…