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High intelligence is a key common denominator in great leaders. If you are not on the high end, or are not aware of your intelligence level, that does not mean you cannot lead. A trend toward lifelong learning is critical, particularly within your field of leadership, be it teaching, analysis or business. There are tools such as brain games, that allow you to increase your capacity to memorize and retain information more systematically. Using these tools along with working on improving your vocabulary is another way to increase your overall intellectual effectiveness.


Open-mindedness and the propensity for flexible thinking is also a pivotal trait. If you are willing to try new things and approaches in your work, you are more likely to be a successful leader than if you are rigid in beliefs and actions. Using yoga and relaxation techniques can help you increase your receptivity to new ideas.


Consider that excellent people skills are required of great leaders. You must be perceptive in dealing with others, good at assessing moods and trends and able to handle any situation involving sensitive matters and emotional issues. Some of the charisma attributable to great leaders has been a byproduct of this ability to read their constituency.


Reach high and push on. Be aware that another characteristic of great leadership is tenacity. This might mean that you try something one hundred ways before you get it right or you persist with attempts to reach a high goal when others would give up.


Be willing and able to take calculated risks. This also involves the intelligence to assess risk objectively and to have the guts to make changes and deal with the consequences. Many great leaders did not see the end product of the course of action they advocated, but they made changes that they believed in anyway.


See the world in a new way and make it so. Remember that positive thinking and motivation in the face of adversity is the single most important trait for any leader. If you tend to be the one who says something cannot be done, you need to overcome this tendency if you want maximum effectiveness. A true leader visualizes success, pushes himself and others toward the goal and makes it happen.


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