Everyone wants to be in charge, until the questions, criticism and finger-pointing start. Leadership isn't easy and it's not supposed to be. If you're interested in being a great leader, this one is for you:

Leadership at it’s finest:

No one likes a leader who tells everyone what to do, that’s called a boss and if you’re not paying him or her, they’re really going to hate it. Being a leader is about options, flexibility, and standing in the back. To be successful, you have to work to represent the collective whole, hear voices, listen and make yourself available. If you’re a leader with no time, be sure you find a way to prioritize the people you’re supposed to be leading. Here are some tips for being a Lovable Leader:

Make time

If people want to talk to you about their opinion, ask questions or use you as a sounding board. Be there, make it happen. When people know their voices are being heard, they are happier, more involved and more likely to contribute in the future. Plus the #1 job of being a leader, is leading based on not only what’s best, but what those who are letting you lead them would like to see.

Listen

You have to listen, if you’re not listening to them, they know, and they won’t listen to you. If you think your voice is worth being heard, remember that so is everyone else. Even, though you may not agree or be able to implement suggested changes, explain where you’re at and why things are or aren’t possible.

Give options, and honor the outcome.

Give people ownership over their choices and the direction you’re preparing to make. If there is an opportunity to give people a choice, give them that opportunity and honor it, even if it’s not the outcome you would have wanted.

Take criticism (you’ll get it).

If someone is trying to give you constructive criticism, you are a fool not to at least hear it. If they’re thinking it, know that other people are too. It is never fun to hear the ways maybe you aren’t rocking, but when you hear these things, you can make an effort to change, grow or improve your leadership style and skills.

Choose to be optimistic.

Life comes with a certain amount of suck. Be a realist know when they suck, but if you choose to look at the positives first and treat every failure as an opportunity, your morale and the morale of those around you will change.

Keep no secrets

Be transparent, if you can tell the truth, tell it. Don’t make excuses but share the problem. And don’t hide how you manage, lead or cause growth. Good leaders share their knowledge and experience with people, a great leader works to work themselves out of a job by empowering the people around them.

Lead from behind.

Being a great leader sometimes involves letting people figure things out on their own, to problem solve independently and use you as a sounding board, a tip-giver or the voice of reason. A great leader is not the person who always leads the way but reminds people that they are capable of leading the way too.

Respect

Earned not given. Don't forget this--it's a two-way street and if you don't respect people and their opinions do not expect them to respect you.

A lot of times, leadership, over commitment and failure go hand-in-hand. No one wants to disappoint people; especially those who are counting on you to keep it together, get it done and speak on their behalf. But getting good at one doesn’t mean getting good at the other. Just because you don’t overcommit doesn’t mean you’re a good leader and vice-versa.

If you intend to be a powerhouse or to keep being a powerhouse, you have to constantly be working on these things independently of one another because growth doesn’t come all at once and it never stops. Always keep improving, and inspiring those around you to keep improving with you.