If you have these 8 traits, you are probably a future leader

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Think you’re a leader?

Many of us like to believe we’ve got what it takes, especially us guys. But is that really true?

If you’re scrolling through Instagram, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea.

The lavish lifestyles and the respect showered on those in power are alluring. But let’s face it: being a true leader is tough, and genuine natural leaders are pretty rare.

|If you find yourself fitting the bill on these 8 traits, well, you might just be one of those rare few.

If not, you can develop many of them. 

Let’s dive in. 

Trait 1: Emotional Intelligence

Have you noticed that you’re often the person people turn to when they need to talk about their problems or seek advice?

Leadership isn’t just about crafting grand strategies and making big decisions; it’s about understanding the beating hearts and the whirling minds of the people around you.

Emotional intelligence is the hidden gem that can turn you into a true leader.

The leaders who truly stand out can empathize with folks from all walks of life. They’re the ones who build rock-solid teams and leave legacies that linger long after they’re gone.

So, how can you crank up your emotional intelligence?

Start by becoming an active listener – not just hearing words, but understanding the emotions behind them.

Next, practice slipping into other people’s shoes. Try to see the world from their perspective, even if it’s miles away from your own.

And, last but not least, get a grip on your own emotions. Learn to steer your emotional ship with finesse.

Because here’s the deal: the more you understand and connect with the folks you’re leading, the more effective, the more impactful, and the more inspiring a leader you’ll become. 

Trait 2: Resilience

Alright, let’s talk resilience – the kind that separates the leaders from the rest of the pack.

Do you have a history of facing setbacks, but instead of giving up, you use them as fuel to keep moving forward?

If so, you might be a future leader. 

You see, leadership isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s about weathering the storms that life throws your way.

Resilience is your ability to bounce back from those inevitable setbacks, failures, and downright nasty curveballs with a mix of determination and grace.

It’s not about avoiding tough times; it’s about facing them head-on.

Think about Steve Jobs.

He was famously fired from Apple, a company he co-founded. Instead of giving up, he founded NeXT Computer and Pixar Animation Studios before returning to Apple to lead its transformation into one of the world’s most valuable companies.

Leaders’ resilience, their uncanny ability to stand tall in the face of adversity, is what made them true leaders.

So, how can you build this kind of resilience?

First, start by embracing failure. Yes, you heard me right. Failure isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a chance to learn and grow.

Second, practice perseverance, because the road to leadership is often littered with obstacles.

And finally, adopt a growth mindset. Believe that you can evolve, adapt, and become better, no matter what life throws at you.

Trait 3: Visionary Thinking

Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about a future where your industry is completely transformed by a groundbreaking idea you’ve come up with?

Visionary thinkers tend to visualize a better future and are passionate about making it a reality.

I know it sounds all fancy, but at its core, it’s about letting your imagination run wild in a world that often plays it safe.

Visionary thinking is the ability to see beyond the mundane, to dream big, and to have the audacity to chase those dreams. 

Look at legends like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. They didn’t just think outside the box; they obliterated the box and built rocket ships to the moon. These folks had the knack for picturing game-changing innovations before anyone else even saw a hint of possibility.

Now, here’s the fun part: you can cultivate this visionary thinking too.

Start by setting goals that make people raise their eyebrows. Get comfortable with creative thinking, and don’t be afraid to wander off the beaten path.

Remember, the visionaries are the ones who transform “impossible” into “inevitable.”

Trait 4: Effective Communication

Effective communication is at the center of great leadership.

It’s not just about being a smooth talker; it’s about being a master at making people understand, believe, and follow your lead.

And it isn’t a one-way street. It’s a dance where you not only convey your ideas clearly but also listen well. 

It’s about forming connections that go deeper than words and building trust that’s unbreakable.

Think about the giants like Oprah Winfrey or Barack Obama. These folks aren’t just good with words; they’re wizards who can weave stories that move mountains. 

Now, here’s the kicker: you can level up your communication game too, no matter how good it might be. 

Start by getting cozy with the art of being concise. No one wants to wade through a sea of words to get your point. Next, get engaged in conversations – not just by talking but by genuinely connecting.

Pay attention to your body language, your tone, and the vibes you’re putting out there.

Effective communication is the cornerstone of leadership. If you can master it, you’ll stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Trait 5: Adaptability

Adaptability is the secret sauce for thriving in the ever-shifting landscape of leadership.

If you’ve got this in your arsenal, you’re well on your way to becoming a future leader who can ride the waves, no matter how turbulent they may be.

Adaptability is like being a master of the art of dance; you’re not stuck in one rhythm. You pivot gracefully in different situations, and when life throws you a curveball, you catch it and throw it right back.

It’s about rolling with the punches, welcoming change with open arms, and seeing opportunities where others see chaos.

So, how do you become an adaptable leader?

It starts with stepping out of your comfort zone. Embrace uncertainty as your co-pilot and get cozy with failure because that’s where some of the best lessons are born.

Trait 6: Accountability 

Accountability is not just some fancy buzzword; it’s the anchor that keeps your ship steady on the tumultuous seas of leadership.

It means that you own your actions and decisions, no matter how tough they may be.

Have you ever admitted to a mistake at work, even when it would have been easier to shift the blame?

That’s a good sign. 

When leaders say they’ll do something, they make sure it happens, no excuses. If they make a mistake, they own it. This is where trust and integrity in leadership are forged.

Warren Buffett, for example, is known for taking responsibility for his investment decisions, both the successful ones and the less successful ones. He openly discusses his mistakes and what he’s learned from them.

So, how do you beef up your accountability muscle?

Start by setting crystal-clear goals – it’s hard to be accountable when you’re not even sure what you’re aiming for.

Regularly assess your progress, and when you mess up (because let’s face it, we all do), own it, admit it, and make it right.

Trait 7: Empathy 

Have you ever found yourself feeling deeply moved when you hear about someone else’s challenges, even if you’ve never experienced them yourself?

Empathetic individuals often have a strong emotional response to the suffering of others and that’s exactly what leaders need. 

Because leadership, despite what some might think, is not a game of issuing orders from a lofty throne. It’s an art of understanding and connection, and at the heart of it all is empathy. 

Empathy is the art of stepping into someone else’s shoes, feeling what they feel, and offering a hand of genuine compassion. It’s about seeing the human side of every situation and every person, even when it’s messy and uncomfortable.

Can’t relate?

How do you cultivate this superpower?

Start by becoming an active listener – not just hearing words, but really listening.

Ask open-ended questions that invite people to open up. And most importantly, genuinely care about the well-being of those around you.

Because when you connect with others on an emotional level, that’s when your leadership becomes truly effective.

Trait 8: The ability to inspire 

If you can inspire those around you, you’re not just a leader; you’re a future leader who’s set to change the game.

Inspiring others is like being the conductor of a symphony, orchestrating a harmony of motivation and determination towards a common goal.

It’s about being the shining example, the one who exudes enthusiasm and instills a sense of purpose in your team.

Think again about Steve Jobs. I think we can all agree that he had a unique ability to inspire others with his passion and vision for creating revolutionary products.

His product launches, like the introduction of the iPhone, became iconic events that motivated and excited millions.

So, how do you become an inspiring leader?

It starts with embracing your passion, leading with unwavering integrity, and crafting a vision that resonates with every fiber of your being.

The bottom line 

In the world of leadership, these eight traits are like tools in your toolbox, waiting for you to pick them up and put them to use.

But let’s be clear: leadership is about fancy titles or Instagram-worthy lifestyles. It’s about something much deeper.

Leadership is about impact. It’s about the influence you have on the people and the world around you.

While it’s not easy, you can develop these qualities, shape yourself into a leader, and make your mark.

In a world that’s always in need of more compassionate, adaptable, and visionary leaders, why not step up and embrace your potential?