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Leaders emerge all the time and attempt to lead a group toward some goal. Some of these leaders are not so great at this job, and they end up failing to lead the group to the exact outcome desired. Other leaders are so amazing that they lead the group above what was desired, and they are called transformational leaders. While transformational leaders arise from many backgrounds, most of them have a few traits in common.


Importantly, great leaders need a great memory. This allows a leader to remember facts, figures, and events that will guide how they lead. A great memory also allows leaders to remember group members and their feelings as well. Bouncing directly off this sentiment, great leaders need to have high empathy levels. Leaders with empathy can understand how their followers think and feel, and the leader can use this to inform decisions. Empathy can also be helpful for leaders who are working against opposition. A great leader can use empathy to understand the opposition and work toward an amicable end to the conflict. Having a great memory and empathy together is already aiming towards great leadership.


A great leader also needs to have persistence that bleeds into followers. There are times when an effort will feel like an utter failure, and a leader must step up and inspire the group to continue toward the goal with increased vigor. Similarly, when a crisis occurs, a great leader needs to be in acute control of nerves. Though there may be times when a task seems hopeless and worrisome, a leader must be able to acknowledge and end this worry. A leader who cannot do this will lead the group to failure. Additionally, a leader with worry will not be able to encourage the team to persevere.


Perhaps the most important aspect of a great leader is the ability to create a plan and then adapt that plan. When leading a team, plans are important to help the team stay on track. A good plan also sets a foundation for the leader to work with. In the course of leading, sometimes things go awry, and plans must be changed. A great leader can identify what aspects of a plan need changed and how to implement this change. When done correctly, the adaptation is seamlessly incorporated, and the team’s work continues to flow smoothly.


Great leaders tend to have each of these traits in some form or another, and these traits tend to build off each other. For example, having a strong, adaptable plan can help reduce stress of kinks, which allows for the leader to better instill confidence and perseverance into the team. Having empathy helps with this as well because the leader can speak to the group’s strengths and resolve the weaknesses. Ultimately, if a leader has these qualities, the groups is in good hands.