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The Exceptional Leader - Part 1

April 20, 2018    |     Linda B James


Exceptional leaders and leadership.

“Exceptional leaders
set high standards for others and 
honor the same high standards for themselves.” LBJ

We would like to believe that leaders are special... some of us falsely believe that leaders have admirable qualities but the reality is many don't.  Leaders have the same weakness and “human moments” as the average person.  In essence, leaders are ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances.   

The choice to lead comes at a steep price.  Some do not welcome the burden that comes with the title.  Many resent the fact that their private lives are under scrutiny.  Others believe they are above the law and can get away with wrong deeds.  Yet, few take responsible for their actions and decisions.  Case in point, there are countless past and present examples of people in powerful positions involved in scandals. 

That being said, let's find out what is so special about leaders?  We honor and respect the top brass for their unique characteristics such as: strength, commitment, persuasion, charisma, effective communication, discipline and fair-mindedness.  These are only basic requirements.  There is a higher level.  Only a few leaders can master this level and be called an ''exceptional leader.''

The exceptional leader is a rare breed. They share the above qualities plus other common denominators:

  • They are iconic.  They stand out above the crowd.
  • They teach others to lead and not to be led
  • They often reveal everything you need to know but not everything they know.
  • They are problem solvers.  They used mistakes as motivators.  They step inside a labyrinth of challenges and find solutions.
  • They make difficult choices for the welfare of others not themselves. 

The bar is set high for these leaders and they have an obligation to meet it.    

Keep these distinguishable attributes in mind when you interact with those in positions of power.  Always call into question violations and hypocrisies made by leaders.  Why? Because, all the world is watching.  More importantly, our children are looking up to leaders as mentors and role models.

  How do the leaders in your life compare?  Do you know exceptional leaders?  What leadership traits do you admire?

 Next week, we will discover the 7 "I's" of exceptional leaders (Part 2)

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