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How to Identify Extraordinary Leadership

Extraordinary leadership requires special qualities which set leaders apart from others. This type of leadership is hard to find because most people do not want to engage difficult challenges in the workplace. Many times, ordinary leaders are afraid to do the hard stuff because they are afraid of what people may think of them.

However, extraordinary leaders are firm against criticism and show a willingness to handle difficult things while demonstrating integrity in the workplace for others to mirror.

They are passionate, authentic leaders who have an innate ability to hone self-awareness and use emotional intelligence in decision-making. They are wise in meetings and when dealing with people or pressure, and they are not afraid to ask unwanted questions or dig into a situation. They know how to pause at the right time, take a deep breath, wait patiently for answers and make a mental note before speaking up.

“One voice can change a room.” -Barack Obama

In this way, they are able to think clearly before making decisions. When they interact with others you will notice that they get along with people well, demonstrating strong interpersonal skills and political savvy.

When extraordinary leaders are faced with difficult situations, they work methodically through problems with confidence and seek help from others. And, they show commitment throughout the process to ensure final resolution. They are not afraid to admit when they have made mistakes, keeping true to their high ethical standards.

Have you ever worked with an extraordinary leader? These qualities may sound ordinary, but they are not – because extraordinary leaders stand strong in their abilities. They do not mind bringing others along the way for success-mentoring. They like to share their qualities with others.

It is someone who is willing to make decisions that move the organization beyond another level, while realizing that it is not about them. Working through challenges, they are focused on important tasks and they certainly know how to delegate work to others to achieve the right results. They show respect for others and the importance of being accountable and responsible, treating people fairly and justly. They inspire others to perform at high levels, and people find them approachable in any situation.

I have worked with extraordinary leaders in my career, and they have helped me to develop into the leader I am today. They showed me the ropes and demonstrated excellent communications skills, showing honesty and maintaining clear guidance throughout mentorship. When they spoke, people listened, because they had the ability to influence and persuade others in decision-making. They made it a point to align and consider others’ ideas before making final decisions.

Extraordinary is shy of being perfect – but it’s being remarkable at what you do best, which means building upon your current strengths and abilities to become an effective leader. It takes time to develop these qualities, but there are some up-and-coming leaders in today’s generation. Therefore, when you find an extraordinary leader, you have found a good thing – be ready to hold onto their coat tail and learn as much as you can to better your leadership skills.

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Wanda Dandridge is a subject matter expert on financial management systems for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Her government career spans over 15 years, starting as an Army intern in financial management, then subsequently emerging as a transformational leader with DLA specializing in budget analysis, logistical support and employee development. Wanda’s greatest career accomplishment is receiving the Federal Employee of the Year Award with DLA Energy Pacific in 2012. Her philosophy is to lead by example while fostering others for their desired purpose. She is a Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM) who enjoys volunteering in her local community.

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