“Leaders don’t create followers. They create more leaders.” – Tom Peters

Great leaders are more than just managers. They are visionaries who understand how to motivate others and make tough decisions. Leaders aren’t afraid to trust their instincts, delegate responsibilities and act decisively.

If you want to be a remarkable leader within your organization, you must become a person that others want to follow. Here are 7 traits remarkable leaders have in common.

 1. Remarkable leaders maintain a positive outlook.

 What does it mean to have a positive outlook? You can’t stop bad things from happening, but you can control how you perceive them. Having a positive outlook means that you expect good things to happen. A positive outlook on life allows you to be hopeful and optimistic regardless of the circumstances.

 Why does this trait matter? Leaders face a variety of challenges every day. People look to their leaders for direction. When organizational leaders remain optimistic in the face of adversity, they can make rational decisions based on facts – not emotions.

 Ways to develop a positive outlook:

  • Associate with positive people.
  • Identify and eliminate areas of weakness in your life.
  • Practice positive self-talk.

 2. Remarkable leaders possess the ability to cope with setbacks.

 What does cope with setbacks mean? Setbacks can happen when you least expect them. Although they are temporary, they can cause you to slow down or stop moving forward. Coping with setbacks means that you acknowledge challenging situations and find ways to move forward in spite of them.

 Why does this trait matter? Whether you’re leading your family or a company, you can’t give up when the going gets tough. People are counting on you to get them through tough situations. You must find a way to push through any circumstance.

 Ways to cope with setbacks:

  • Focus on things that you can control.
  • Keep moving forward.
  • Believe in yourself and your abilities.

3. Remarkable leaders are responsible.

 What does it mean to be a responsible leader? If you’re in charge of an organization or group, you must own every outcome – good or bad. When missteps occur or your team misses its targets, you can’t blame others. Responsible leaders embrace accountability. They make informed decisions based on the needs of their employees, company, customers and environment.

 Why does this trait matter? Typically, responsible people solve problems quickly. They don’t procrastinate or look to others for approval when making decisions. Responsible leaders do what needs to be done even when they don’t feel like it.

 Ways to become more responsible:

  • Acknowledge your shortcomings and weaknesses. Work to overcome them.
  • Keep your promises.
  • Be consistent in every area of your life.

4. Remarkable leaders know when to delegate responsibilities.

 What does it mean to delegate responsibilities? If you’re good at something, it’s easy to believe that there is no one who can do it better. But that type of thinking can have negative consequences. These include overloading your schedule and a lack of growth opportunities for your employees. That’s why it is a good idea to transfer or delegate tasks to capable employees.

 Why does this trait matter? There is a limited amount of time to get things done. Focus on the most important matters and do them well. Trying to do everything will lead to mental anxiety and career burnout. As you climb the corporate ladder or grow your business, delegating responsibilities allows you to focus on high-value projects.

 How to successfully delegate responsibilities:

  • Identify proficient people you know who can get the job done with minimal supervision.
  • Assess the demands that come your way. Decide which ones require your personal attention. Delegate less important tasks to other people.
  • Be sure to define your desired outcome before you delegate a project or task.

5. Remarkable leaders have effective communication skills.

 What does it mean to have effective communication skills? Leaders must interact with a variety of stakeholders by phone, email, video or in-person. They must learn to communicate in a way that effectively conveys their message. Effective communication involves listening, understanding, authenticity and clarity.

 Why does this trait matter? Great communication skills can boost employee morale, increase sales and impact how your organization is perceived by others.

Ways to improve your communication skills:

  • Practice active listening. Pay attention to what is being said.
  • Develop the ability to empathize with others.
  • Monitor your body language, facial expression and tone of voice.

6. Remarkable leaders remain poised under pressure.

 What does it mean to be poised under pressure? Poised people can remain composed even when things aren’t going well. They are comfortable in a variety of situations. Typically, people who exhibit poise under pressure aren’t easily provoked by external factors.

 Why does this trait matter? Poised leaders are confident and calm. They can take on any challenge without stirring up drama and losing their temper. These leaders know how to face challenges head-on and resolve conflicts peacefully.

Ways to develop poise under pressure:

  • Be quick to listen and slow to speak.
  • Take a few moments to process stressful events before responding to them.
  • Train your mind to focus on the big picture in every situation.

7. Remarkable leaders are empathetic.

 What does it mean to be empathetic? Contrary to popular belief, being empathetic isn’t a weak character trait. It requires strength to remove internal barriers that prevent people from confiding in and trusting you. Empathy gives leaders the ability to understand and add value to their customers and employees.

 Why does this trait matter? Leaders must motivate their people. Empathy gives you the ability to identify pain points, motivations and frustrations.

Ways to develop empathy:

  • Listen without interrupting or thinking about how you are going to respond.
  • Release your biases by resisting the urge to judge people who have different opinions and backgrounds.
  • Take an interest in other people by asking about their aspirations, hobbies, families and professional goals.

Want to learn how to become a remarkable leader in your organization, community or business? Check out the following podcasts.

  • The Ed Mylett Show (hosted by Ed Mylett)
  • The Look and Sound of Leadership (produced by Essential Communications)
  • The Leadership Podcast (hosted by John Maxwell)

 About Corporate Counsel Men of Color

Our mission at Corporate Counsel Men of Color (CCMC) is to foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We provide a support network for men of color in all professions including (but not limited to) legal, finance, education, medicine, healthcare, law enforcement, sales and insurance. Join CCMC to participate in career events and networking opportunities. Corporate Counsel Men of Color is a subsidiary of Corporate Counsel Women of Color.