How does a leader become great?

September 30, 2021 – Reading time: 5 minutes

“A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together”. 

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Need for leaders

In struggling ages like these, we all demand for leaders. When things become dynamic, and complexity grows, we hope for someone to protect us, to prevent us from harm and to lead us to a better place, where we are safe. This need is implemented deep down in humanity. We all trust in the power of courageous leadership in turbulent times, and the current political movements worldwide are proving this. We would rather sacrifice the principles of democracy than being exposed to migration, economic downturns or technological progress.

Where do leaders come from?

The indicated contribute to the debate where leaders come from? Who or what is creating this gifted person to lead us? Are leaders send to us by a higher authority?

Leaders use their abilities

We at INVENSITY do not conclude that leaders are born. They do not arise by chance or as an heir to an entitled family or clan. They are not thrown into this world with a set of genetic abilities that differentiate them from the rest.

Leaders develop their attitude

Nor are we convinced that leaders are made. They are not forged by some elite training program of one of the leading business schools. There is no leadership coaching that creates leaders.

We think both beliefs might be partly right. Some abilities foster leadership, and we understand the help of training (to develop attitude), but these ingredients do not determine a leader.

Leaders express their ambition (by active decision)

Instead, we do believe that everyone can grow into a leader and that leaders make themselves. By active choice, they become a leader and by taking responsibility for their enclosure and the people within they are leaders.

What is the first step of a leader?

However, where to begin? What is the first step after deciding to lead? It is not to manage others but rather driving yourself. It starts with the recognition that unless you conduct yourself, you cannot lead others.

Accept responsibility

Personal leadership is the first and most critical tasks of any leader, and it starts with accepting responsibility for yourself. You are in charge of every aspect of your life. You have invented your surroundings, and thus you have to admit your role as creator.

Create value by contributing to others

In consequence, you can decide to take this opportunity to discover, shape and live a life of sense, spirit, and value. To contribute to others and make a difference and impact the world around you in a positive way, you are starting your way towards great leadership.

Choose a meaningful life

Becoming a leader is to recognize that you lead from within. It is founded on a choice to live a life of meaning, a decision to live a life of purpose, an option to have a positive impact on others.

What makes a leader great?

This all doesn’t answer the final questions: What makes a leader truly great? Great leaders adapt to their surrounding environments, enable their colleagues to achieve their goals and empower the team to succeed together. There are certain principles required for leading your colleagues to greatness.

Passion – Great leaders serve a greater cause

True leadership is determined by the intermittent blend of personal humility and unique will to lead others in service of a cause bigger than themselves. Great leaders are very ambitious and eager for the empowerment of the team. They have the attitude to understand leading as serving their colleagues and they have the ability to do whatever is necessary to achieve its greater cause.

Confidence – Great leaders have faith in their beliefs

Great leaders have clarity of purpose and are great at articulating their beliefs. By having faith in their own ideas, they are considered leaders and they develop a matchless culture by being a good communicator, listening to others, giving feedback, setting examples and not giving up. Leadership is all about being passionate about what you do and having confidence in yourself and your followers whom you will inspire by your actions.

Vision – Great leaders inspire their team

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. Therefore, great leaders possess a clear vision of what they want to accomplish. They are authentic and courageous, and they have a clear focus, which they share with others. Great leaders believe in teamwork and they help people reach their goals. They are searching for talents that are better than them and they take pride in the achievements of those they help along the way.

“Real leaders are people who help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better, harder things than we can get ourselves to do on our own.”

– David Foster Wallace

Everybody can be a leader. When will you become one?

When do you dare to start YOUR journey to leadership? When do you take over responsibility and become a leader?

INVENSITY is here to encourage you and to help you on the way. If you need support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with either the INVENSITY Academy or me, Frank Lichtenberg.


  • Frank Lichtenberg

    Senior Director

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