Most of us recognize a leader when we see one. Because, most leaders seem to possess a common set of behaviors. It seems that great leadership is more bold action than intellectual capacity. Here are three of the behaviors I have recognized in great leaders.

Great leaders thrive on simplicity.

They bring clarity to the complex. As leadership responsibilities grow, it’s easy to get caught up in complexities: the number of decisions you must make increases, and alternatives seem endless. Yet, at the same time, our brains can only successfully attend to and focus on one thing at a time.

People crave simplicity. They want a clear plan with a focused goal and a path to get there. The leaders who can take a seemingly complex situation and simplify it with a common purpose will achieve their goals and gain the favor of those that follow them.

Great leaders challenge themselves.

One of the biggest indicators used to determine the potential of a leader is his or her pursuit of excellence. This behavior not only tends to be present during a leader’s work day, but also in everything they do.

They’re never satisfied with the status quo and that goes for their own status quo, as well. They will recognize the success of the team, especially after a long hard effort, but you’ll rarely see them patting themselves on the back. Their own accomplishments don’t excite them; the next challenge does.

Great leaders are bold.

When you think of some of the greatest leaders in history, boldness is one common characteristic.

A bold leader is able to lead in turbulent times. When times are challenging, leaders must get out in front and lead. Being bold requires the ability to identify a situation, understand the need for a potentially difficult or unpopular action, and ultimately choose to move forward.

Great leaders are defined by their behaviors. What they do and don’t do. How they act and don’t act. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. They are extraverts and introverts. They’re morning people and night owls. They’re healthy and completely out of shape. They have neat desks and workspaces that look like a tornado ripped through it.

One thing’s for certain, to be great, leaders behave differently; they strive to become a leader that’s worth following.