What Does It Take to Be a Leader?

Less than you probably think.  So many people seem to believe that if you're leading others you have to be better than them at, well, everything.  That you have to almost bully those under you to show who's boss.  But that's not the case.  Take Bill Gates, for example.  He described his whole leadership style/business plan as "finding people smarter than me and partnering with them." 

Seemed to work out okay.

Bill understands the concept—that bringing the right people together and helping them work to their potential, while also working to his/her own potential, is what leadership is all about.  If you're over any size group of people I hope you bear that in mind, and look to encourage those in your stewardship rather than force, coerce, intimidate, or manipulate.  That's what usually happens when a leader feels insecure about leading.  That doesn't have to be you.

Just read a short but very good article by Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, the president of the Charles Schwab Foundation and the senior vice president of Charles Schwab, on leadership qualities, including what I just mentioned above.  Check it out here, and then stop bullying, and start leading.