What The World’s Greatest Leaders Can Teach Us

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Each year, Fortune ranks the world’s top 50 most influential leaders. And while the list is inspiring, I think the greater message lies in looking deeper to what each of these leaders stands for, and what each can teach us about leadership.

I chose a few from the list for their accomplishments but more importantly for the leadership qualities they embody.
Be willing and able to change.
Anglea Merkel, No. 2 on the list and the highest ranked woman, has proven herself a strong voice of leadership as the de facto leader of the European Union through many crises. Her ability to see the need for change and move quickly on it has cemented her as a strong, powerful leadership role model.
Surround yourself with great people.
General Joe Dunford, Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan is both a soldier and a statesman, a fine line to walk. But he clearly attributes much of his success to his ability to surround himself with extraordinary people. He told Fortune that someone once gave him three rules for success; the first was to surround yourself with good people. “Over the years,” he said, “I’ve forgotten the other two.” As a leader of any group, the skill for finding and nurturing talented people is key to success.
Be willing to experiment.
Geoffrey Canada, CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone, has been quoted as saying, “Education is the only billion-dollar industry that tolerates abject failure.” He decided to change that with a bold experiment, turning a 24-block area of Harlem into a place that nurtured and supported children from birth. His experiment has been wildly successful, expanding to more than 100 blocks and seeing a 95% matriculation rate of high school seniors going to college. He had the vision to turn traditional education ideas on their head, and was rewarded for that bold risk-taking experimentation with real results.
Real leadership is when everyone else feels in charge.
Bono, lead singer of U2, has proven himself a global leader in AIDS relief efforts, but as he tells Fortune, the real power lies in empowering others. Leaders who can make every person in the organisation from the ground up believe powerfully in the mission and cause of the company, are truly inspirational leaders.
Reach people where they are.
The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, is maybe the most social media savvy leader on this list. He has 8.6 million followers on Twitter, and you can find him on just about every other social media platform as well, from Facebook to Google+ and back. The upshot of all this? Millions of people worldwide who are not Tibetan or Buddhist look to the Dalai Lama for guidance and follow his charismatic words because he is everywhere they are.
Don’t compromise your vision.
The no. 1 slot on this year’s list went to Pope Francis. No matter where you fall on the spectrum of religious beliefs, I believe Pope Francis must be admired as a leader for being absolutely unwilling to compromise his beliefs. He has taken a stand against centuries of papal tradition by forgoing some of the opulent trappings of his office, voiced controversial opinions about the church’s role in the world and on topics like homosexuality and abortion. Yet his firm stance has done nothing but make him more popular, both with his own flock and others around the world. Knowing your own mind and not letting yourself be swayed by what’s popular is a key characteristic of a strong leader.
Many believe that great leaders are born, not made. I believe that anyone can become a better leader by emulating those we admire. Which great leaders do you admire, and how have you learned from their example?

[Source: https://www.linkedin.com/]