Since I've asked over 20 people who they consider to be the greatest/best leader in their own life (and why), I figured I'd better share my thoughts on leaders in my own life.
Before I do, here are the three qualities I believe every great leader needs to have:
1) Great communication skills
2) Active listener
3) Always makes the best decision, even if it's not the favorite
Three leaders in my life:
1) Who: My college basketball coach at Calvin
Why: Coach V-Streek is not only a great coach, but a great person. The quality that made him a great leader was his listening ability. Coach had an "open door" policy, meaning players can stop in and talk with him about anything (on or off the court) and it wouldn't be held against them. Coach's ability to listen to his playes share their thoughts, problems, concerns, complaints, etc. allowed us to get things that were bothering us off our chest. There wasn't one time I walked out of his office not feeling better for having spoken to him.
2) Who: Tim Tebow
Why: Even though I don't personally know Mr. Tebow, I consider him to be a great leader; not because of his determination to succeed (although incredible), but rather his ability to stay true to himself and be the real "Tim," despite what others said. Being criticized publicly about your lifestyle might make some think twice about how they live their life and what they believe in. Not Tim. No matter what was said about him and his faith, not once did he change who he is. He has been an example for those who maybe afraid to show their true colors because of fear of not being accepted by their peers.
3) Who: My Grandfather
Why: My Grandfather might be one of the classiest people you will ever meet. Talk about top-notch. From his life as a long time high school principal/superintendant, to his honesty and passion for the game of golf. The thing I admire most about my Grandfather, and the reason why I consider him to be a great leader, is his ability to make the right decision, even though the decision might not be the group favorite at the time. He will always do what is ethically and morally right, and doesn't hesitate when presented with a decision. Quick to make a decision, and always making the right decision; a great combination when it comes to leadership.
Not all people will be leaders. Not all leaders will be great leaders.
Lead. Follow. Or get out of the way.
Make it happen.