People are recognized as leaders for different reasons, but to be a leader, other people must be willing to follow you. Some people find the power to be leaders from their history of successes or their expertise. Others rely more on their personalities. Some demonstrate strong values or an ability to empathize that makes others willing to follow them. The most common bases of leadership are charisma, expertise, authority, success, commitment, values, and empathy.
The bases for leadership are not the same as the qualities of leadership. Being in a position of authority is often a basis for leadership, but it is not a quality of leadership. Expertise is often a basis for leadership, but it is not a quality of leadership—many leaders lack detailed expertise but instead are generalists. Success is a basis for leadership, but it is not a quality of leadership—many leaders try hard and are not successful but are accepted by their followers.
Learn more about the seven qualities of leaders in our latest infographic.