Creating a Legacy Through Exceptional Leadership


Tammi Durden, Contributing Writer  |  Have you ever encountered someone who seems to be a natural born leader?  It seems as though they innately have a take-charge nature, and people respond accordingly and follow. On the other hand, I’m sure you have encountered individuals who are in a position of authority, but their followers despise them.  Although a number of people are born leaders, a majority of the population has potential to be great leaders, but simply require a cultivation of skills. If the truth be told, even the best leaders have to work at it.

Two of the greatest success factors of leadership are purpose and intent.  Why do you lead? What do you hope to accomplish?  At the core of it all, people are what really matter.  When you lead, people follow, so it is imperative to hold at the forefront of everything your greatest asset…people.  Successful leadership yields the opportunity to create a lasting contribution and make a positive difference in the lives of others, as well as achieving organizational goals.   How can this be accomplished?  Allow me to offer three habits of successful leaders, that when practiced, are sure to yield exceptional results:

1) Exceptional Leaders Connect.   True leaders have the heart of a servant and a passion for people.  If you really want those who follow you to become engaged and buy in, it is critical to establish a connection with those you lead.  A connection is a form of relationship.  This does not mean that you must become friends or best buds with those you lead.  However, there should be a mental and sometimes emotional association present. Establishing a common ground or sharing like interests with those you lead will aid in this process.  Extraordinary leaders are able to tap into the needs and desires of those they lead and have a genuine concern for them.  Once people detect your authenticity, they are more willing to become open to give 110% for a shared cause or vision.

2) Exceptional Leaders Inspire.  Once you connect with individuals and establish some common ground, the ability to inspire them is so much easier and impactful.  A leader’s ability to inspire their followers is extremely important in order to obtain the desired outcome.  Inspiration involves influence and effective communication. Often times prompting others to take action is a result of possessing the ability to motivate, letting others know what’s in it for them and how achievable success really is.  Once a leaders begins to flow in this zone, amazing things will happen.

3) Exceptional Leaders Build.  When I say build, I am not referring to building a physical structure or even building a team.  Extraordinary leaders build people.  I cannot stress how important this habit is.   Never underestimate the power of cultivating those who follow you.  Celebrate successes with them, no matter how great or small.  Let them know when they do a good job and that you appreciate them. The end result can be tremendously rewarding for all parties involved.  When you grow and develop individuals, you are engineering both a phenomenal team and organization.

Remember, your greatest asset is the people who follow you. Once a connection is established, this opens the door for inspiration and as a result, building them up is inevitable.  So, if you long to make a mark in the world and a positive difference in the lives of others, lead from a place of exceptionalism.  When doing so, you are sure to leave a lasting legacy.


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