When you boil down everything a leader can do to succeed with a team, you end up with one word:influence. Exceptional leaders influence decisions, enthusiasm, actions, possibilities, confidence, beliefs, direction, and culture. Influence is what an exceptional leader does, and it shows up in myriad ways. The tactics can and will change; the definition will not.
2. Exceptional leaders know that leadership is not a talent.
Leadership is a skill and a craft. It can be learned only through a unique combination of study and experience. When people describe a “talented” leader or a “born leader”, they’re either mislabeling the leader’s hard work or they’re describing the leader’s charisma. Of course, charisma and leadership are mistaken for each other very often, but they’re not at all the same. Charisma is to leadership what a fresh paint job would be to a car. It can make for a more appealing presentation, but the actual performance will come from some deeper and more powerful place.