A leader to me is the person who has the most belief in what they’re trying to do in the world. They might be quietly, in a corner, cooking up ideas, analysing what to do differently, where everyone else is doing the same thing but not getting very far. A leader to me is someone like Einstein. Someone like Maya Angelou, as much as someone like Obama. A leader is made not through their invisible, seemingly God-given talents from birth (though I do think inherent personality traits inspire a person to act and react as they do in life) but through proving to themselves and others that they can carry themselves through whatever it takes to reach their vision, and inspire such faith and inspiration from others, that their audience is lit up, moved inside and can see, feel and hear, and so have faith, in the vision too.
I believe what makes a leader hinges on a person’s resoluteness. Their commitment, determination. Being able to keep going, even when the going is extremely tough. That leader has to inspire everyone else to keep believing too. How can they expect people to keep aiming for an invisible future if they’re not showing the grit of their teeth, the set of their brow, the strength in their voice?
Faith in what you’re going for makes the greatest of leaders. Faith that the future is brighter and will happen. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King. Steve Jobs. So many said they were crazy, nonsensical, deluded in their causes. But they just saw the future before everyone else, and had the wisdom to show it in their face.
When you’re not sure if you have what it takes to lead, to pioneer, to do something different, just ask yourself if you have one thing. A resolute nature.