The secret to great leadership does not exist in that cup of coffee you drink every morning–although it certainly doesn’t hurt. Great leaders all share something in common–they have certain habits that they do every single day. Take after them to embody the same characteristics, no matter who you’re leading.

1. Inspire optimism

It can be difficult to always be the person finding the silver lining inside a huge, gray cloud. Even if you’re the only one carrying the burden, keep in mind that after a little while, positive feelings always do catch on.

2. Be genuine

No matter how small the action, great leaders are genuine in everything they do. They are purely themselves, take it or leave it, and they don’t compromise their ideals or core values in an attempt to be liked. They do things because they believe in them; they believe in the words they say, they believe in the people who work for them, and they believe in themselves too.

3. Practice confidence

While we all have our bad days, there are some that require us to continue to buck up and continue plowing forth, even when all we want to do is find somewhere to rest our head. Confidence is something that leaders carry regardless of the environment they may find themselves in. Great ones practice it every second of every day.

4. Communicate

Seeming both accessible and able to speak to those around us is a huge plus for leadership. Allowing yourself to act as someone that is responsible enough to take care of problems effectively–while being compassion and receptive–is great for encouraging people to trust you in every sense of the word.

5. Decide things–and stick to them

In a world where people constantly change their minds about all sorts of things, like which cereal to consume, or whether or not they know someone they’ve decided not to like, it can be hard to find stability to hold onto. Good leaders provide that, however. They are decisive when everyone else tends to waver–a great asset that allows others to become natural followers who easily fall in line right behind.


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