“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” – John C. Maxwell
from 50 Leaders Who Changed History by Charles Phillips
The past gives us a blueprint to the future. I’ve learned that by analyzing yesterday’s leaders, we can form leadership skills for tomorrow. Charles Phillips does an amazing job in providing heroes to study from so we can self improve ourselves through his easy to read format.
Success revolves around the key concept of leadership. Therefore, I realized I need people around me in my goals just as a car needs wheels. People to help me push the boulder forward. And finally hit my goals. In return, I help theirs as well.
This article shows 13 leaders who had a tremendous impact on the world. It looks at their leadership skills to use as a guide to become a better, more dynamic leader. So let’s begin by starting with the earliest on our list!
Top 13 Leadership Skills
1. Moses (14th Century BC)
Paternalistic: Moses accomplished an amazing feat of guiding 600,000 men on foot to of Egypt not even counting women, children, and non-Israelites. This was not easy as he made sure the whole nation of Israel had food and water while in the desert (even though they complained often.) He instructed his people what needed to be done and how to live through the Torah. His example illustrates that being a leader isn’t a walk in the park.
I’ve learned: A leader takes care of their team by having all their needs met to succeed. Therefore, be a GPS system and teach them what needs to be done. You will also reach your goals easier.
2. Alexander the Great (356 – 323 BC)
Strategist: Alexander the Great was king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. He dominated many battles while being outnumbered and dealing with little resources.
I’ve learned: It’s possible to win and succeed with factors that appear to limit your success. Times will come where it will be critical to place people where they excel. In order to do this, it’s important know the field you’re in, look for opportunities for your team, and know the direction you want to go in.
3. Jesus Christ (c. 4 – 27 AD)
Compassion: Throughout the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus addressed the people’s sicknesses and issues directly with His gentle and wise nature. Due to this nature, He perfected selflessness in His great sacrifice for our sins.
I’ve learned: When a team member has an issue, you must be compassionate and deal with it through care and kindness. Drop what you’re working on to hear them. And show your compassion through action by putting your team above everything to develop them. The company grows when they grow.
4. Queen Boudica (33 – 61 AD)
Inspiring Symbolism: Queen Boudica was the British queen in 60 AD. She inspired British troops to defy the Roman military machine after they slaughtered her husband and raped her daughters. Because of this, she was able to appeal to her British audience as one stripped and shamed by brutish Rome and the mother of dishonored daughters. This touched the British troops who also felt as she did in her declaration of death rather than living as a slave to the Romans.
I’ve learned: Leaders can inspire in different ways. As a symbol, it’s easier to connect and relate with a person’s heart and emotions because it sticks and stays with the audience. Through symbolism, you become a role model for success.
5. Genghis Khan/ Temujin (1162 – 1227)
Iron Willed: Genghis Khan created the Mongolian empire which was the largest empire ever. It ruled a massive 25% of the world’s population! Temujin means ‘man of iron.’ He used ruthless tactics to conquer and subdue his foes. A couple of times, when he captured enemies he also learned how they laid siege and how their weapons worked. By using this student mentality, he brought death to any army facing him.
I’ve learned: Business is ruthless, since there are always people out waiting to pluck you from the top. So, be iron willed by being steadfast on decisions; stay firm and focused on the mission. And in addition, learn and use your enemy’s tactics against them.
6. George Washington (1732 – 1799)
Unifier: Before he became the first president of the United States, he linked the country together after the Revolutionary War vs Great Britain. In addition, during the war, he delivered his army through a 5-year struggle when defeat was in their face. Death was knocking at their door! His men were poorly paid, had inadequate food, and inferior equipment. So he won their devotion and kept the army together by campaigning vigorously with Congress for their better treatment and food.
I’ve learned: Through good and bad times, a leader keeps the team together and goes the extra mile to fight with everything so they are not bullied nor discouraged. Trust is then created and a brotherhood of unity that never dies.
“A manager says, ‘Go!’ And a leader says, ‘Let’s go!'” – Unknown
7. Simon Bolivar (1783 – 1830)
Visionary: Simon Bolivar had a colossal vision. That vision became a reality as he freed Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia from Spanish rule. He did this by, first, writing The Letter from Jamaica. This incredible letter encouraged his followers to rebel against Spanish rule. In addition, he justified it by detailing how the Spanish treated Latin America like slaves. This later portrayed his vision in convincing people that the independence movement would succeed.
I’ve learned: Display your vision to your team to make it clear and known like it’s in Ultra HD. Then once your team understands it, take action with all your passion. Like Nelson Mandela said,
“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely daydreaming but vision with action can change the world.”
8. Mohandas Gandhi (1869 – 1948)
Channeler: In South Africa of 1893, Gandhi traveled on a train, but soon had to give up his first class compartment because of his skin color. He had a valid ticket, similar to Rosa Parks decades later in Montgomery, Alabama. After refusing, he was thrown off without overcoat or luggage at a nearby station. He slept there that night shivering from cold. Instead of repressing the anger he felt, he transformed and channeled the negative energy into the positive energy that drove his peaceful revolution. That revolution led India to independence from Britain.
I’ve learned: A leader never gives into the force of anger, nor use it to effect change. They channel it into something greater to accomplish the goals they set.
9. Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)
Devoted: The Prime Minister of Britain in World War II was totally committed to win against Hitler and Germany to where he suffered 2 serious bouts of pneumonia in 1943. He encouraged the House of Commons during the war, “Victory at all costs – victory in spite of all terror – victory however long and hard the road may be.”
I’ve learned: A leader shows loyalty and dedication by putting his life on the life for the cause. Like he once said,
“If you’re going through hell, keep going!”
10. Vince Lombardi (1913 – 1970)
Talent Promoter: In 1958, the year before Lombardi began head coach, the Green Bay Packers finished a disastrous 1-10-1 season. Since then, he has led them to NFL championships in ’61, ’62, ’65, ’66, ’67. As the greatest coach in American football, he a team and combined their talents together to accomplish their goal.
“People who work together will win.”
I’ve learned: Use this mentality of togetherness to develop the crucial characteristic of knowing where the arm goes on the human body and applying it to reach for the goal, instead of using it to walk. Sometimes it requires trial and error. You can’t force an arm to smell if it’s not a nose.
11. Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013)
Giver of Limelight: Former president of South Africa, Mandela knew how to drag the best out of others. One way he demonstrated this was to shove them in front of limelight, and award them the credit. As a result of this selfless act, his followers loved him more.
“You take the frontline when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”
I’ve learned: As an impactful leader, you must step forward in times of difficulty and grant your team a good name when things go right. I’ve learned people hate to dishonor a good name and the one that gave it to them.
12. Eva Peron (1919 – 1952)
The Voice: Former actress and wife of the former president of Argentina, Juan Peron, Eva achieved goals as a champion of the ‘shirtless’ poor. Therefore, she made a powerful connection with the poorly paid working class called descamisades or ‘shirtless ones,’ even encouraging them to call her, Evita (informal version of Eva).
I’ve learned: Leaders are the voice to those who have little or none. Speak up for your team so that those who look up to you are not bullied or recriminated against. Be the one they hear taking charge of the goals in front of them.
13. Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011)
Innovator: Apple founder, Steve Jobs produced the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Macs, and Pixar. He taught that innovation is all around us. Therefore, he became constantly obsessed with whatever he worked on with laser beam focus to make the product better.
I’ve learned: People, animals, and events are all around to inspire. But you must become aware of innovation and transform it into a goal that improves and changes lives. It’s vital to think of ways to improve the common to meet the extraordinary goal.
Learning from all of these leaders has empowered me to be a better leader. It’s allowed me to pilot the plane to success with these men and woman from different nationalities as a guide and GPS. I hope that they help you as well so that you achieve your dreams and goals. Teams make the climb of success much easier and learning these skills keep them together.
Today’s Question: Who is a leader that you look up to? (Comment and share with others)
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