There is no magic to becoming a leader. It takes hard work, perseverance and sacrifice. Anyone prepared to undergo the rigorous challenges of becoming a leader certainly has a shot at becoming one, but you need to be prepared. You also need a guideline to get you on track to do those things that can make you a great leader. Here are the essentials.

A Great Work Ethic 

Having a great work ethic is not an option, it is a requirement for success as a leader. You need to outwork everyone on your team and be prepared to go toe to toe with anyone they might compare you with. This does not mean that you just find things to keep yourself busy, it means that you work smart and productively. Leaders take pride in being the first into the office and the last one to leave. They know that there will be weekends in the office and long nights with little sleep and not so good food, because of deadlines that have to be met. This quality is one that is contagious and once your employees see you willing to put in the hours needed to win, they will appreciate that you are committed to their success and they will work harder too.

Understanding that Failing is a Necessary Part of Success

Leaders look at failing as part of the process. Every failure gets you closer to success, so without the failures, there simply is no chance to reach success. To be clear, there are those who are brighter, have more natural skills, or seem to have a lucky rabbit’s foot in their pocket resulting in them getting it right a higher than normal percentage of the time. But even these special individuals have to be prepared to fail and then continue on as if it never happened. Failure has been a great de-motivator of talented people and has stopped those who had the entire set of skills to succeed. A leader must understand that failing builds character and gives you the opportunity to learn how to deal with adversity and test your mettle. It also gives you a chance to show your team or employees that losing does not have to mean defeat. So good leaders use failing to set up the next win.

Giving Back

President Obama famously said in 2013, that businesses that were successful owed a commitment to the US for their success, and as a result they were obligated to give back. Many business leaders were angry by his statements and took them to mean that their hard work in building their companies was not the determining factors in their business success. What got lost by these business leaders was that there needs to be a commitment to giving back to those who supported you and to those in need. Smart business leaders like Lloyd Claycomb II understand this idea. Giving creates and environment for caring and better business. It creates new and healthy customers yes, but more importantly it provides a balance to the idea that the only thing important in business is money. This is important because compassion, giving and charity, make us better people and make for healthier business environments.

Although these are certainly not the only qualities you need to be a good leader, they are essential elements you need to master. Work on and internalize them and you will become a better leader.