We spend a lot of time complaining about our leaders. Whether its politicians, supervisors, or coaches, most of us dwell on the shortcomings of others. Stop and ask yourself: Would you follow you?

Pause for a second and look in the mirror. We can’t control those other people, but we expend a lot of energy on them. Do we spend as much time worrying about our own ability to lead as we do the leadership of others? 

The Survey Says….

Most people know what they want out of a leader. We did a survey that identified the traits that make great leaders. We asked the questions:

  • Who is your leadership hero?
  • What do you admire most about that leader?

We received over 620 responses and the answer was overwhelming. The results tell a story. 87% of the responses described a character trait in their leadership heroes, not a skill or capability.

Here are the Top 10 responses:

  • Caring
  • Compassionate
  • Courage
  • Faith
  • Honest
  • Honesty
  • Humility
  • Inspirational
  • Integrity
  • Passionate 
  • Wisdom

People don’t follow us because of what we can do.

They follow us because of WHO WE ARE – our character.

Our character is made up of the sum total of our habits. The good habits and the bad habits. The survey shows that a leader’s Habits of Character determine whether people want to follow them.

Now look in the mirror and ask yourself this question again:

Would you follow you?

If you are unsure where your Habits of Character are, there is a simple way to figure that out. Click on the following link:


This 5 minute self assessment is private and you will receive instant feedback on the current state of your character. Based on the results, ask yourself again:

Would you follow you?

The Bottom Line:

It is easy to point fingers and complain about another person’s lack of leadership. It is human nature to judge others and proclaim them unworthy of leading.

Are we willing to turn that around on ourselves and ask those same questions? Growth starts with recognizing our own need to grow.

We can’t control others. We can control ourselves. Our Habits of Character are 100% in our own control. Nobody controls our Habits of Character but us.

People don’t follow us because of what we can do.

They follow us because of WHO WE ARE.

Nobody determines WHO WE ARE but ourselves. 


The world would be a lot different place if we spent as much time focused on WHO WE ARE instead of who other’s are. If we do this, we will be taking the first step in becoming the Leaders of Character we all have the ability to become.


If you do not want to take the time to look in the mirror at yourself, ask yourself why? 

Dave Anderson is coauthor of the Amazon Best-Seller Becoming a Leader of Character – Six Habits that Make or Break a Leader at Work and at Home with his father General James L. Anderson (USA Retired).

You can order Becoming a Leader of Character on Amazon by clicking here:


You can also find Becoming a Leader of Character at Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million and other retailers.