When people arrived in Mexico City three decades ago, the skies were grey and hazy, but locals did not seem to believe they had anything to do with air pollution. Back in the days, people definitely didn’t think about the environment, but attitudes and understanding have been changing in the years that followed, when concerns about the air and other green issues affecting the country were raised. In the 1980´s being pro-climate was not on the scope. The culprit behind this enormous debt with the planet was our increasingly selfish, self-centred, self-absorbed “me” culture, courtesy of our growing obsession with ourselves.

Misunderstanding terms like personal branding, blogging, and social media has been part of the problem, as it has been the fact that we are over distracted, paying attention to our belly button with out noticing what happens in our environment. Nevertheless, there are other factors. The world is changing, our lifestyles are different, and development means changing. While that may sound unfortunate, there is an unexpected silver lining. If one has a burning desire to accomplish great things and become wildly successful, there are some good news: there is less competition than ever before. Oh, yes. All one has got to do is break from the content-generating crowd and embrace the qualities that make great business leaders prodigious.

Yes, change is inevitable and trying to fight against it is as profitable as a dog that chases its own tail. What I am trying to say is that resisting change is absurd. There is no way that we can stop the movement of the world, yet there are special subjects that remain constant no matter how big the change is or how hard the movement can be. These group of values are a set of timeless qualities that shine in times of rapid development. According to Steve Tobak, author of the book Leaders do not follow, he has found this abilities and talents in many leaders that he interviewed for his research. The qualities that he picked to set extraordinary people apart, could have easily come out of my own mind and I am sure that you will think the same as well.

  1. Humility. Sound difficult to believe in a world that can make it big with an enormous ego and a grandiose personality. How else do you explain Mr. Donald Trump carrier? Nevertheless, humility – knowing what you don’t know – is a great asset, an endearing quality, and yes, it’s an extremely underrated and powerful leadership trait, as well.
  2. Self-awareness. Compassion is widely misunderstood these days, courtesy of the massively overhyped fad, emotional intelligence. But, we have to discover where empathy really comes from. It comes from being genuine. It comes from being true to yourself. That’s the only way you can ever feel real empathy for others. The same is true of respect.
  3. Bravery. There is no great person that backs down from a challenge on an issue he felt strongly about. Of course, we all have to pick our battles, but confidence is important. The courage – if instincts tell them they’ve got it right –to defend a position and put their money where their mouths are without hesitation. But bravery implies reflection and observation.
  4. Know-how. To be successful, you have to know how things work and how to get things are done in the real world. Unfortunately, many people let their egos get in the way of that. They think they walk on water or their products do. They think they know more than their customers do. They think the laws of supply and demand don’t apply to them. That’s why they fail.
  5. Simplicity. Great leaders have an indescribable ability to relate information and experiences from disparate situations to solve complex problems and turn them down to simple insights and strategies everyone can understand.
  6. Integrity. In a world where so many persons will stop at nothing to get what they want, to twine in another client, to sell more products, to hit the number or grow the bottom line, it still takes honesty and integrity to breed trust and credibility – the cornerstone of strong, long-term business relationships.
  7. Passion. If the dream of becoming a successful person is in your mind, then you have got to find what you love to do. It is the calling; vocation is the word in Latin. If you don’t follow it, you’ll never have the tenacity and fortitude to stick with it through all the tough times ahead.
  8. Balance. Not only do great leaders always seem solid and grounded, they also appear to possess a sense of calm and balance. They are cool. That’s the mark of those who stand the test of time. Now, the challenging aspect of understanding the timeless qualities is not knowing them but being able to deconstruct the useless parts within our persons and let these qualities blend together to form whole, substantial beings that are so much greater than the sum of their parts. If it sounds easy, it is not. But in reality, it is worth it: qualities and behaviours developed through years of experience that have been pillars for Humanity are timeless. In case you’re wondering where all these timeless qualities come from, now you know. They come from experience – always have and always will.

Yet, as you may have already noticed, this list may sound incomplete, it is. There is a blank space that remains free so that we can feel it in with our own considerations. The last value in the list is uniqueness, and that can only be defined by oneself.