What it Takes to Be a Leader in the Present-Day World

By Jessica Freeman

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

We live in trying times, where most people are looking for someone they can turn to, someone that can show them the way and guide them. That “someone” is a leader. And while the term itself can have a pretty broad definition, there are only a handful of things that make a good leader.

So what makes a difference between a leader and a follower?

Things like confidence, strong will, knowledge, fortitude, and philanthropy. These are the trademark qualities of every great leader out there.

Who are the leaders of today? In the past, politicians used to be leaders. But unfortunately, they have failed us so many times in recent years that they are now only seen as symbols of greed and corruption. Can you really compare them with leaders like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, or even Fidel Castro?

Can you imagine someone standing up for something that is right like Lincoln, who effectively ended slavery and united all of the American states? Can you imagine Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton doing that? Or a leader being like Mahatma Gandhi, who won his country’s independence without firing a single bullet by practicing non-violent resistance, boycotting, and civil disobedience.

Before looking up present-day leaders, let’s analyze all of the key traits of leaders of the past that current leaders need to have.

Persistence and Determination

Nelson Mandela served over 30 years in prison because he fought for what was right. His struggle to end the Apartheid has cost him dearly, but he did not break during all those years of injustice and humiliation. Neither did Gandhi. Nor did Castro, who survived countless assassination attempts and is still leading Cuba today.


Although he certainly does not belong in the same crowd as the aforementioned leaders, given that he wrote some of the most shameful pages of the 20th century, Adolf Hitler is an example of a persuasive orator. Objectively speaking, he managed to get the entire country to back him on a plan to conquer the entire world and turn Germany into an empire, even though his deeds were evil.


Many past leaders fought for what was right, even when it went against authority and law. They did it because they knew it was the right thing to do, whether it was to end social injustice, unite their nation, or win freedom for their country.


Humility goes a long way, and that’s what has made many leaders influential and even loved. The people saw them as one of their own and not just some power-hungry figure.


They believed in their cause, but they also believed that everything would end well. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have had the strength to succeed in the face of adversity. They were confident that, eventually, justice would prevail and that they would win.

Leaders of Today

As for the great leaders of today, they are investors, industrial or media magnates, and IT giants. Names like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos immediately spring to mind.

They are the ones who use their money, power, and influence to make this world a better place, whether it’s through philanthropy or by pushing boundaries and inventing stuff that will make our lives better and more comfortable.

All of them faced great difficulties, either with raising money or getting people to back them in every other way, yet they succeeded. They are today’s examples of how it should be done.

How Can You Be a Leader in the Present Day?

If you have ideas about being a leader that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Jessica Freeman
Jessica Freeman
Jessica Freeman is a passionate content writer and a journalist. She finds her calling in making others interested in topics of education, leadership, and modern technologies through her freelance work. You can follow her on Facebook and Google+.
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  • Jui Weasley says:

    I was quite impressed by the article you posted because it got me to consider ideas I hadn’t considered before.

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