Self-leadership is the essence1 of initiative； it's putting yourself in charge of 2 your work without constant intervention3 and monitoring4 by your manager. It's making decisions yourself instead of waiting for your manager to make decisions for you.
Leadership knows no boundaries， and leaders can be found anywhere in a company， regardless of an employee's place on the organizational chart5. In a recent study entitled Liberating Leadership Report， published by the United Kingdom's Industrial Society， more than 80 percent of those identified by employees as having genuine leadership ability are not in positions of formal authority. Another study showed that， on average6， the formal leaders of an organization contribute no more than 20 percent to the success of most organizations； followers are critical to the remaining 80 percent.
While managers use policies， procedures， milestones7， and the like to push their associates8 to achieve the goals of the organization， leaders inspire their associates to achieve the goals of the organization through their actions and their examples. All it takes to be a leader is a vision9 of the way things should be， the passion to convince others to join you， and the initiative to get the ball rolling10.
To put it more concretely， the following qualities are the ones that are often exhibited by effective leaders：
Has a strong， internal drive to achieve and succeed. John Kotter ， a researcher， says that " it takes a sustained11effort for years……to accomplish the kinds of changes associated with leadership. It is difficult to imagine people with less than a high level of internal drive handling the problems and challenges over such a long period of time."
Is mentally and emotionally stable12. Mental and emotional stability allows you to view the world as it is without creating complex personal problems. Leaders must possess a strong emotional balance to overcome the myriad13 of problems in the daily work environment.
Cares about others. Successful leaders value other people and care about their well-being14. Caring about others is a core ingredient15 for leaders if people are to follow their direction.
Is trustworthy. Trust is vital. People trust you when you don't play games16 with them， when you put everything on the table and speak honestly to them.
Is willing to empower17 people. Competent leaders empower others to make decisions on their own and give them freedom to accomplish tasks without looking over their shoulders18. Afterward， discerning19 leaders give credit to their employees for 20 a job well done.
Has vision for the direction of the organization. In order to move a department or organization forward， leaders must have vision. They must have an image of the future and how they are going to get there.
Is decisive. Being able to make decisions quickly and accurately21 is a quality of effective leaders. Have you even known a successful leader who is not a good decision maker？
Has proven communication skills. Successful leaders must have proven communication skills in order to communicate the goals and direction of the department and organization to employees