Iconic figures from history throughout the years can serve as guidance to would-be leaders. Writers of leadership books use brilliant and effective historical leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Martin Luther King and Gandhi as examples of powerful icons of yesterday.

Some past leaders are truly inspiring – and have had failures as well as many successes. The reason for the failures is mostly because leaders are also risk takers. They did what others didn’t think to do and ventured to places where others were afraid to go.

You can learn leadership styles from the bad and the ugly “leaders in history” as well as you can the good and benevolent leaders. Even those leaders who were evil (Adolf Hitler comes to mind) played integral parts in changing our world and have become powerful forces for change.

Some famous leaders were visionaries, pragmatists and humanitarians and others were conquerors who left a great deal of destruction in their path. Many worked hard for the good of others (such as Gandhi) and influenced thousands of others to do good also.

Angela Merkel of Germany is making her mark on the woman’s role as leaders and others such as Margaret Thatcher have made it more possible for women of today to take their places in leadership roles. We can learn from these men and women who paved the trail for others to follow.

By studying the leadership styles of great leaders of history, we know that leaders aren’t always born to lead, but develop the talent and skills to eventually become the leaders they need to be. Some leaders come to power during times of crisis and others require more guidance to make their mark as a leader in the world.

Leaders that most of us admire, including Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi, displayed some traits that we can rely on in our own pursuits to become leaders. They include empathy, determination and an ability to bring about positive change.

Choose a leader from history whom you like and admire and gain as much knowledge as you can about his or her leadership style. In the age of technology which we’re fortunate to be in today, much can be learned about our leaders’ past and what made them great.

You can accomplish greatness in your own sphere by mimicking the good qualities of these men and women and making them a part of your thinking process.

Learning Leadership Qualities from the Past
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