8 Habits of Great Leaders

great leaders

When I think of great leaders, I think of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Dalai Lama, among others. Most of these people are older and have a lot of experience. Me on the other hand, am 25 and have been catapulted into more of a leadership role. It’s safe to say, I have a lot to learn.

Whether you are a director, assistant director, program manager, or some other role within your recreation center, chances are your job requires you to be a leader. To help myself, and hopefully you too, I have compiled a list of some of the top qualities great leaders exemplify. And here are even more qualities of great leaders according to Forbes.

  • Take Risks – Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t shy away from challenges just because you are scared to fail. Sometimes, the biggest risks reap the biggest rewards.
  • Effective Communication – provide feedback and motivation to all your employees and co-workers. Take the time to connect with your employees and make sure the channels of communication are open. Strive to deliver messages that motivate and inspire. Don’t forget a crucial component of communication is listening. Be a good listener.
  • Humility – No matter what your role is, whether it is director or president, you are never too important to do something. Even if it may not be in your job description, help out where necessary. Don’t ask your followers to do anything you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself.
  • Self-Awareness – Know your strengths and weaknesses. Chances are, you are not good at everything, unless you are a superhero. Play to your strengths, but acknowledge your weaknesses and develop strategies for compensating for those weaknesses.
  • Passion – If you don’t love what you are doing it will show, and that will be passed down to your employees. Enthusiasm is contagious. How can you expect your employees to love what they do, if you don’t either?
  • Approachable – Welcome feedback and ideas. Demonstrate genuine concern for your employee’s wellbeing. You spend a lot of time with your co-workers, so get to know them, show that you care, and they will be more likely to confide in you when there is an issue.
  • Accountability – Don’t shift blame. Eliminate any victim behavior. Leaders take responsibility for not only their personal performance, but also their peoples performance. When things are going well, provide praise. When issues arise, fix them without singling people out or assigning blame.
  • Take Time to Think – Keep the larger picture in mind. Often times we get so bogged down in the daily tasks that we forget to think about the future. What is the ultimate goal and how you will get there?


Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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