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Entrepreneurs, politicians, pioneers and trailblazers on what it takes to be a truly great leader…

"The biggest tests of my leadership came when I had to choose between selling our record company and saving our airline. It was heartbreaking to have to sell Virgin Records, especially for all of the wonderful people who worked there. But we knew it was the right thing to do, and happily both Records and Virgin Atlantic are thriving today." Richard Branson

"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." Jack Welch

"After receiving three years of funding from our local council in 2008-2010, the Government decided to cut funding for the arts and our support was completely gone. It was tough, but it made me rethink how to lead my team and innovate to create a viable business without any funding. The Chinese word for 'crisis' is 'wei-chi' and it has two meanings, 'danger' and 'opportunity'. I sincerely believe that out of every dangerous situation comes opportunity and a good leader will look for those." Zoe Jackson, entrepreneur & Virgin Media Pioneer

"Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand." General Colin Powell

"It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership." Nelson Mandela

"Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations." Peter Drucker

"High sentiments always win in the end, The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic." George Orwell

Now you've heard from the experts, its time to think of what inspiration advice has helped you. 

What do YOU think a great leader needs?

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