There is so much content available that tells you how to be a leader and everyone identifies influence as the main characteristic. But what not get explained is that leadership and influence are two different things. Having a position of power does not mean that you are a leader because even people without these things can exert influence.
Leadership is more than just influence and it includes at least five characteristics as follow:
1- An insight:
For leaders, it is important to have more than just a vision. They need wisdom that enables them to look into a situation and gain clarity and determine the right course of action. In today’s world, Steve Jobs is a great example of a leader who has great insight into the things around him. His insight helped him to reboot the business and dominate the industry when he inherited a mess as the CEO of Apple.
2- Taking initiative:
Leaders lead by example and never ask people to do something that they themselves are not willing to do. They take initiative and place their foot on the field first. The kind of initiative they take is indispensable because it instills their confidence, courage, and communicates a kind of dedication that gains the trust of the people.
3- They exert influence:
It is the ability of an authentic leader to attract people to their vision and their values. This enables them to gather a following and motivate them to move forward. They have the power to persuade others to their point of view and create a ripple effect with the influence that they exert.
4- They have an impact:
The measure of true leadership can be found in the impact the leaders have on their followers. It is because leaders are meant to make a difference and have an enormous impact on the lives of the people.
5- They have integrity:
Among many leaders, there is an element that is missing most of the time. It is the integrity they lack which only authentic leaders possess. The life of an authentic leader should be integrated with the highest values because it determines the quality of their impact on others. Integrity forms the foundation of authentic leadership.