What makes a great leader?
I recently discovered the story of the life of Coco Chanel, one of the first women to create a business empire that still exists today. I began to think about what it was that set her apart and what leadership qualities she had that enabled her to achieve what she did.
She had dignity and enormous courage that drove her to sticking to her core values and beliefs no matter what challenges she faced. She knew herself well and remained true to herself in all circumstances. She never tried to blend in for comfort; rather she pushed herself and allowed herself to be challenged beyond her comfort zone.
She was determined and did not accept the status quo.
In thinking about these traits, I recognize that they run as a common thread through many great leaders in history.
Leadership begins with knowing who you are and what you stand for and then having the courage and determination to live by this in order to fulfill your contribution to the world.