7 Ways to Be the Very Best Leader You Can Be

UPDATED: January 27, 2023
PUBLISHED: January 26, 2016

The best leaders have a special kind of courage. They have the courage to endure, to persist, to “hang in there” in the face of doubt, uncertainty and criticism.

You are a work in progress, you are always growing and improving. Your job is to become the very best leader you can be. And you can—with regular and persistent practice of these seven courageous habits:

1. Practice patience in adversity.

Courageous patience is the willingness and ability to stay the course in the face of uncertainty, doubt and often criticism from others.

Related: John Addison: The 5 A’s of Leading Through Adversity

2. Stay the course.

There is a critical time period between the launching of a new venture and the results that come from that venture. During this hiatus, this waiting period, many people lose their nerve. They cannot stand the suspense of not knowing, of possible failure. They break and run in battle, they quake and quit in business.

3. Lead by example.

A true leader is the person who can stand firm, who refuses to consider the possibility of failure. The turning points of many key moments in human history have been the resolution, or lack thereof, of one person. Courageous patience is the acid test of leadership.

To encourage others, to instill confidence in them, to help them to perform at their best requires that you lead by example.

Related: To Perform Best in Life, Remember These 6 Ziglar Truths

4. Allow honest mistakes.

Alleviate the fears of failure and rejection in others by encouraging your team to take calculated risks and allow honest mistakes.

5. Encourage your team.

Give the people who look up to you regular praise and approval. Celebrate good tries as well as success, large and small. Create a psychological climate where people feel safe from censure, blame or criticism of any kind.

6. Become unstoppable.

Courage comes from acting courageously on a day-to-day basis. Your personal development goal should be to practice the behaviors of a totally fearless person until you become, in your own mind, unstoppable.

7. Prepare for adversity.

Prepare yourself in advance for the inevitable disappointments and setbacks you will experience on the way to your goal. Don’t be surprised when they occur. Resolve in advance that you will bounce rather than break and continually encourage others to think and act the same way.

Related: 3 Ways to Move Past a Setback

Brian Tracy is chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a best-selling author of more than 70 books, and a professional speaker.