Top 10 Qualities that Make a Great Leader

Top 10 qualities that make a great leader
Share the Inspiration :)

When we speak about becoming a Hero in life, it will have a tie-in with being a leader. Have you ever wonder what makes someone a great leader? Do they really have let say, top 10 qualities that make them a great leader? Is there really such a thing that bring them over the top? Or was it just because they were born to be a star?

Everyone has a dream to be successful and make it to the top. All of us has a chance to rise and shine every single day. But, it’s no secret that climbing up the mountain is not an easy work to do. Moreover when you bring some people out with you. Having a team can bring you a great advantage if you manage them well, otherwise it could lead to a disaster. Therefore, there are certain qualities that one should possess to help them get there.

Lucky for you, when doing a bit of research, I’ve found an living inspiration of a good leader just right in the place where I live. No, it’s not my current boss or everyone in my office. In fact, I can write another “Top 10 Qualities that Make a Worst Leader” from my experience, but that will have to wait.

The great inspiring leader is Joko Widodo whom better known as Jokowi, the 7thPresident of Indonesia. He is the first president of Indonesia who doesn’t have political elite background family nor originated from a military background. Born as a wood seller’s son, he carved his way up on and breakthrough the political traditional practice. Though I’m not really into politic, I got to admit that his life story could be considered as a good real Zero to Hero example too. He got rewarded as Top 100 Most Influential People at 2015 by Time Magazine.

The Qualities that Make Jokowi as of Now

Jokowi 1

Jokowi was born in Surakarta, Central Java as a son of a Wood Seller. However, growing up in a poor-environment didn’t make him lose his hope, instead he let all his experience affected his way of thinking in a positive way. Working his way to be a successful businessman, he had desire to change the notorious practice within the bureaucracy.

Elected as mayor of Surakarta in 2005, he had transformed Surakarta within 7 years by making several effective policies which drew so much public attention. He then elected as Governor of Jakarta in 2012 where he obtained even more attention. B.J. Habibie, the 3rd president of Indonesia, even mentioned him in one of interview as the only eligible person for presidency.

Jokowi has officially become the 7th president of Indonesia in 2014. His political career might not have been that long, but many people have acknowledged his qualities, even the respected political figure ones. Like I mentioned before, here are some of his qualities which makes him a great and truly inspiring leader :

Jokowi 3

1. Vision

Great leader must have a vision. A goal he wants to achieved that is greater than himself. Working toward a vision is far more inspiring than working toward personal gain. Unlike many political elites who pursue the presidency for power, Jokowi’s entrance into politic was derived from the exasperation of Indonesia’s notorious red tape which he experienced when he was a businessman.

2. Intuition

When facing situations that aren’t on the textbook, there’s no roadmap on what to do. Everything is uncertain, the risk is high and so the tension. Having an experience as a businessman has sharpened Jokowi in making a decision toward uncertain condition which is one of the key element in being a great leader.

3. Commitment

Starting his political career as a mayor of Surakarta and brought rapid positive changes into the city was the main thing that made him gain so much public attention. Jokowi has always been committed to his vision in bringing positive impact during his length of service.

4. Positive Attitude

During his years of service as Mayor of Surakarta and Governor of Jakarta, many people supported him because of his humble background and populist style of campaigning. Because of his positive attitude, In 2010 Jokowi was reelected mayor with more than 90 percent of the vote. He was later ranked as the third best mayor in the world by the international City Mayors Foundation.

5. Ability to Inspire

Jokowi was a furniture businessman before he entered the politic and being a mayor of Surakarta. During his leadership, he made rapid positive changea in many areas. His policies were not only inspirative but also effective in changing the face of Surakarta. His supporters even branding the city with the motto “Solo : The Spirit of Java” (Note: Solo is a popular name for Surakarta).

Top 10 qualities that make a great leader

6. Social Awareness

Jokowi has been known for his populist style campaigning. While he was being the Mayor of Surakarta and Governor of Jakarta, he was frequently doing “Blusukan”, the action in which he made impromptu visit to certain area to see the real conditions of the city and engage in direct communication with local.

7. Make Decision

Successful leaders are expert In decision making. They can make the best decision, even under immense pressure. During his years of service as governor of Jakarta, ha had made several policies that brought positive impacts, including health care program, educational program, and financial reform. He was also revamping streets vendor and relocating them to a new building.

8. Honesty

Jokowi is known for his anti-corruption platform. One of his vision is to represent a clean government. As a leader, it is crucial to have other people trust. Be it your underling, member or even competitor. If people trust you, they will listen to you.

9. Confidence

During the election campaign for presidential, many people question his ability to lead his country. Contrary to initial expectations, the presidential election turned out to be a close race in which Jokowi defeated former army General Prabowo Subianto by a narrow margin only.

10. Managing People

One of the most important skill in leadership is managing people. Jokowi said that it is very important to be detail-oriented. The Jakarta-based analyst, Philips Vermonted says half-jokingly that “Jokowi is the micromanager in chief.”

Jokowi 5

And now, do You See the Top 10 Qualities that Make a Great Leader in Yourself?

I think we all agreed that even if someone born to a wealthy family, character will still play the major role to their success. A hero wasn’t born as one, they are built. Without having any of these leadership skills, failure will only be a matter of time. So, do you think you have all this qualities already? If not, it may be a good thing to try one by one. Perhaps, starting to have some of these qualities will make your success goal closer without you realizing it.

Alexander Blue

A writer, gamer, book lover, music addict, and a dreamer. My life motto is 'Every thousand mile begins with a single step'. I like to share helpful information with others because the positive feeling is contagious and it will make everyone's life better.

Share the Inspiration :)

30 Comments

  1. Asen

    hello there,

    Thank you for the thorough article.
    Most people don’t know the difference between a boss and a leader.
    These are two completely different things.
    It takes some qualities to command and be bossy and it is totally a different thing to inspire people and to lead them.
    What is your favorite leader?

    Reply
    1. Alexander Blue (Post author)

      Hi Asen, thanks for sharing your thought. In term of people, my favorite one is the current president of Indonesia (like what I wrote above). He has many great quality for a leader. :)

      Reply
  2. Nemira

    Hello here. Thanks for introducing Jokowi as the person who achieved so much in his life. I think that people who voted for him, knew that he is a good leader.
    When I see this picture with people, I think that really cares about them . For him is not the same how people will live.
    It seems that he has a great sense of empathy. It is wonderful when countries have leaders which lead them to prosperity and new future. Of course, discipline and strong will must play role in the dealing with the various issues.
    All the best, be healthy and wealthy, Nemira.

    Reply
    1. Alexander Blue (Post author)

      Hi Nemira, yes that’s true. He is loved by so much people in his country. Thanks for sharing your thought :)

      Reply
  3. shrey

    These are one of the best points that you have mentioned here and it is quite motivational since it gave me an idea on where exactly I need to work to improve myself and my capabilities.
    The entire post was informative and the way you explained them was brilliant. Thanks

    Reply
    1. Alexander Blue (Post author)

      You’re more than welcome :)

      Reply
  4. Anne

    Hi,

    This is a really interesting article. I agree with your list and find that in life those qualities are very important.
    I come from the belief that to be a great leader you also need to be able to listen. When you listen, you gain knowledge and a bigger picture from other people. You gain insight that you might not have known about previously, and thus are in an even better position to lead.

    Great article!

    Reply
    1. Alexander Blue (Post author)

      Hi Anne, thanks for sharing your opinion :) Yeah, the ability to listen and learn from others is an important quality as a good leader. Thanks for the compliment :)

      Reply
  5. Viljoen

    I have had several managers that where appointed above me at my current workplace which gave me the opportunity to see the good ones and the bad ones.

    The bad leaders are those that do not have any respect for you and they treat you like you are as dumb as a rock.

    The good ones on the other hand will motivate you to become greater and work even harder. My current manager is actually challenging me to use my full mental capacity while the previous one tried to limit me as much as possible.

    Reply
    1. Alexander Blue (Post author)

      Hi Vil, I agree with you. I have experienced working with different type of bossess. Although they have their own plus minus, I agree that the bad boss will limit you while the good boss will encourage you to bring out your full potential.

      Thanks for sharing and I hope you will be a good leader someday :)

      Reply
  6. Adrian Yeow

    One of the quality that attracted my attention is commitment. Of course the commitment i am discussing here may have a different meaning to the commitment you discussed. When we are committed to something and striving for our goal, that itself can be a challenge. We often get distracted and to have the right mental, attitude and discipline to do it over and over again can be a challenge itself.

    Reply
    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hello again Adrian :) Commitment to the goal is also important. You have given a good insight there. Thanks for sharing it :)

      Reply
  7. Ian

    Great piece! I agree with all points of this article, and the president of Indonesia seems to be an amazing person and leader. In the photo at the end, I thought he looked a little like Obama, enough for me to do a double-take.

    His story speaks of overcoming difficulties and obstacles to fulfill a dream. He shows that nothing is impossible if you work hard.

    Reply
    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Ian, yes he has some good quality of a leader, hence I am able to write him as a good example of a leader. Well, after you have said that, he indeed look similar a bit with Obama. As a matter of trivia, Obama spent his childhood in Indonesia :

      Reply
  8. Julie

    Well written post certainly true. Having a great idea, and assembling a team to bring that concept to life is the first step in creating a successfull leadership. Honesty is the first trait to be a good leader. If you make honest and ethnical behaviour a key value, your team will follow suit.

    Reply
    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Julie thanks for the compliment. Honesty is indeed a crucial trait for being a good leader. If you honest with your followers, they will know your condition and willing to be more helpful, or even provide you with some solutions that you may never think previously. Thanks for the sharing.

      Reply
  9. LakanDula

    I love Indonesia, using Indonesia’s president is a great example. I’ve always been interested in Indonesian culture and history, as it is closely related to my own (Philippines). Really useful information for self-improving people, especially those with a really emotional side – could help them to adopt the leader’s mentality.

    Reply
    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Lakan, thanks for loving Indonesia. Jokowi is indeed a good example of what should a leader act and behave. Glad if it can help you too in your self-improvement:)

      Reply
  10. Sarah

    But what truly makes someone a zero? Aren’t we all equal by divine creation, no matter how far we’ve ascended through the social ranks of life? I believe that anyone can be a hero to someone else and the world doesn’t have to see it on a grand scale. Many of us have those qualities. But does the world picking and choosing us as ‘heroes’ truly make us one?

    Reply
    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Sarah. Yes I agree with you. We are born as equally ‘zero’ but with different circumstance. Some were born within rich or poor, some other were born within highly educated family and other may born from musician family.

      We all have choices and choose to have different paths. Sometimes, what we choose may lead us to the path of ‘zero’ circumstance; e.g.: No money, no friends to support, or just no viable choice to move forward in our business.

      In this circumstance, we have two choices: move forward and be a ‘Hero’ to ourselves, or give up and let us devoured by the cruelty of life.

      The qualities of the leaders, and other topics I posted in this website such as an insight about determination or inspirational songs are used to boost the waking of ‘inner Hero’ within ourselves.

      Thank you for the comment :)

      Reply
  11. Gino

    Great post, I totally agree with your list!

    I especially like the Vision quality!!! Every great leader needs a vision to lead their followers.

    Reply
    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Gino, thanks so much for agreeing :)

      Yest you are right. Vision is one of a real important point why their followers are going with them. We do not want to follow our leader blindly, don’t we :)

      Reply
  12. Zee

    Hi Al,

    Thanks for sharing this article. I love how you put in the sentence about “the worst leader” in jest. I felt the same when I was in my old office. Our leaders had always become the subject of conversation frequently. Unfortunately, not for their excellent qualities.
    Becoming a great leader is surely not an easy work to do. That’s why I always respect someone who can do the job nicely.

    Reply
    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Zee,

      Yes haha. The ‘worst leader’ part suddenly struck in my mind when writing this. Well, my boss also like yours: always and always been in hot topic for conversation with coworkers but not for his good quality lol.

      Yes I’m agree with you that becoming a great leader is not that easy, but one can try to be if there is a commitment to do it. Let’s pray the bossess to realize what should be done so they can transform into a good leader :)

      Reply
  13. Zoe

    Hey, great post here – and great idea for a website too… I wish you lots of luck with it!! :)
    I have to agree with all the points you’ve made here, but specifically the first 5, and also honesty!! I think if you can be a great leader and also stick to your original values (from when you had nothing) you will become a great person too – and one that people will stick with!! :)
    Thank you for sharing… are you Indonesian too??

    Reply
    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Zoe, thanks for visiting :) Yes, honesty make a good point of being a good leader and example to your followers. When the leader is honest about his/her condition and work, the followers will more willing to help him/her.

      Yes I am an Indonesian and Jokowi is actually on of my living inspiration :) Are you Indonesian too?

      Reply
  14. RStark

    Very good post. I believe there are leadership qualities in everyone if they are willing to dig deep enough. Your list of qualities shows that anyone can realize that they can be a great leader if they invest in themselves. I like the premise of your website and will definitely be a return visitor. Good luck!

    Reply
    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hello Stark. Thank you for your compliment. Yes I too, believe that the leadership qualities exist in everyone. It just a matter how we want to ‘dig’ and ‘use’ it to help us in the way or reaching success. Will wait for your next visit :)

      Reply
  15. Dan

    Very interesting post. I’m afraid that I’m quite ignorant about Joko Widodo but clearly he has your respect, out of interest is he generally universally liked in Indonisea, I ask this because there aren’t many world leaders who are, in fact it would probably be fair to say that most are disliked by the majority once they get in office. If this is the case then you could maybe add on eleventh category of respect, which I personally believe is one of the most important aspects of leadership. Or would you put this under under ability to inspire?

    Reply
    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Dan, that’s OK. Joko Widodo is indeed one of the phenomenal person from Indonesia that caught global attention, as I write above (You see he is among top 100 most influential people. Wow).

      It is a nice suggestion for the “Respect” category. Respectful leader can earn most people support because they feel the leader truly care about them, I personally think that the “Respect” quality can be fall at either “Ability to Inspire” and “Positive Attitude”, so maybe I will not adding it as eleventh category but really thanks for the concern :)

      Reply

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