Articles on Leadership

What Inner Qualities Possessed by Great Leaders?


What Inner Qualities Possessed by Great Leaders?
“Great leaders have three things; inner light, inner vision and inner strength.” ― Amit Ray


Who is a Great Leader?

Great leaders, simply refer to persons who lead a way for others. A leader always puts society ahead of self and works for the betterment of people/humanity.

We have heard about great leaders in different fields and strata of our society. There are great leaders in the fields of politics, spirituality, the scientific world, education, the social world, environment, diplomacy, etc.

A few examples of great leaders are Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, S. Ramanujan, Mother Teresa, etc. They have displayed their leadership in their respective fields.

Common Characteristics of a Great Leader

Although their areas of work were different, all great leaders possess a few common characteristics that are similar.

The characteristics that make a great leader are –

    • vision,
    • courage,
    • character,
    • commitment,
    • communication skill,
    • listening skills,
    • persistence nature,
    • positivity, realism,
    • integrity,
    • dedication,
    • decision-making,
    • humility, humanity,
    • motivation, etc.

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The 3 Most Important Inner Qualities of Great Leaders

The most important inner qualities of a great leader are inner vision, inner light, and inner strength.

A good leader always has these inner qualities that inspire them to lead people for the advancement of their immediate societies or humanity as a whole.

They have a great inner vision and can foresee the future of society/humanity. They think ahead of common people and can see what will happen to others in the next few decades or centuries. They view the future ahead of their time and work towards fulfilling what they foresee.

Great leaders possess inner light. The inner light is easy to understand but seems difficult to achieve. For great masters, it took a few days and for others a few years to “locate” their inner light or be aware of the light that existed within them.

So the great leaders are aware of their potential energy, strength, and guts. They pull themselves inwards before working outwards. They convert their inner light to light the world outside.

Noble leaders have an inner strength that facilitates them to work courageously, consistently, and continuously. The inner strength motivates them to motivate others and work for a larger audience.

The inner vision, inner light, and inner strength transform them from individuals to institutions.

Different Ways to Become a Leader

If you keenly observe the lives and works of great leaders, you would find that all of them were not born leaders.

There are three types of leaders. In one of his plays, William Shakespeare had written:

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em.”

Born leaders are those who possess traits of leadership since their childhood. They display their leadership qualities and abilities when they are very young.

An example of a born leader is Subhas Chandra Bose. He was a leader during his childhood days when he was in school. His leadership abilities were seen throughout his life till he died.

Some leaders achieve greatness with their own will and hard work. They didn’t show any sign of a leader in their early years.

Mahatma Gandhi is a perfect example of this category of great leaders. Gandhiji wanted to be a lawyer and he went to study law in England. Then he went to South Africa to practice law. In South Africa, he was a lawyer for the Indian folks who were living in that country in large numbers.

When he saw injustice and unequal treatment of Indian folks, he started to fight for them. A great leader was born there who later returned to India to fight for the independence of India from British rule.

Many others were neither born leaders nor achieved greatness as a leader through their hard work and will but greatness was thrust upon them.

An example of such a leader is Rajiv Gandhi. When his mother Mrs. Indira Gandhi was assassinated, leadership of the Congress Party was thrust upon him.

He was not at all interested in politics. But due to peer pressure and request made by several senior Congress Party leaders, he agreed to join politics. Later he became the youngest Prime Minister of India.

He took some very good steps to transform India. One notable achievement of Rajiv Gandhi was to revolutionize telecommunication in India.


Leaders are required to lead societies in the right direction. They can motivate the masses and transform the society for better.

Undoubtedly to become a great leader, one should have several inner qualities including inner vision, inner light, and inner strength. These three important qualities are very much needed for a leader to achieve greatness and lead people and transform the world.



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Ranjan Kumar Baral

Ranjan Kumar Baral is very keen to observe, learn, and de-learn the very beautiful life-process on the planet earth. He has graduated from the AIT, Bangkok, Thailand (MS) and Utkal University, India (M. Phil. & M.A. and L.L.B.). BeAnInspirer is a noble, humanistic, and practical way to inspire people across the world. He writes for BeAnInspirer to express his feelings, sensitivity, and humane experiences.

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