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.
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.
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.
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 organization from the ground up believe powerfully in the
mission and cause of the company, are truly inspirational leaders.
Reach people where they are.
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.
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.
believe that great leaders are born, not made. I believe that anyone
can become a better leader by emulating those we admire.