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In general, leaders influence others by their character, humility and example.

Andrew Carnegie said this about leaders, “no man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.” Looking back on my professional Engineering career and military combat training, I determined that great leaders possess the following four characteristics:

  • They have the ability to motivate people to perform tasks they would not ordinarily perform. In times of war, a soldier is asked to sacrifice his or her life pursuing the objective while often times facing great danger. Great leaders possess motivational skills that inspire others to perform at the highest level in spite of obstacles and resistance.
  • They are willing to give constructive criticism wherever and whenever it is necessary without fear of losing team members. Along with leading a team comes the responsibility of evaluating each member. For a mission to be successful team members must be able to work together as a unit and so it’s necessary for the leader to guide them.
  • Great leaders never get too far ahead of their team. You can’t lead effectively if your team can’t see where you are going. Having a clear vision of the mission and relaying that vision to the team will generate great success in the mission.
  • They keep their team in their side and rear-view mirrors. If the team gets ahead of the leader, then he or she can no longer be effective. Aggressive team members will have the tendency to move faster than others. Rather than being disjointed, keep in mind what Henry Ford said, “if everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!

Chaplain Walter Ghosten

By Chaplain Ghosten