There are many books about leadership, and advice is plentiful. I find it interesting to read the theories from people who have worked in large corporations versus those who have worked in smaller (more entrepreneurial?) companies. There are the academics who provide their theories and the consultants who bring their ideas. There are books from military leaders, business leaders, religious leaders and almost any walk of life.
The people that capture my attention the most are those who have significant business experience. Those who have seen success but also experience failure. The people who know that despite all the books in the world, there are no cookie cutters!
I have been around the block a few times, worked for large companies and small. I have worked in the lowliest of positions and been CEO of my own company for twenty years. In reality, just like everyone else, all I have is opinion, based on that background.
I believe that many people are enamored with the prospect of leadership, but it is usually far tougher than they expect and their willingness to pay their dues is often questionable. The type of traits that I would value in leaders might look like this:
1. They make things happen … they make decisions, they find a way, they move towards a goal!
2. They lead by example … they do not use the phrase, “Do as as I say, not as I do!” They are authentic.
3. They treat everyone equitably … they don’t play favorites, they build a team culture and they are humble.
4. They strive for continuous improvement … they want to grow their organizations, to get better at what they do.
5. They are empathetic … recognising that we all need an ear sometimes.
6. They are tough … they make the tough decisions, they dole out “tough love”.
7. They have a strong work ethic … they are productive, they don’t work less than they expect their staff to work.
8. They are consistent … you always know where you stand with them.
9. They listen … they are not afraid to hire strong people, and they listen to them.
10. They are glass half full people … they motivate those around them!
If YOU want to be a leader then you should strive to be a good leader, and work on these attributes. Good leaders are made NOT born!
“Leadership does not always wear the harness of compromise.” Woodrow Wilson
Another reality is that nobody is perfect, so the drive to be the best leader you can be is an essential characteristic of any great leader.
What do you think?
Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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