Develop Characteristics of Great Leaders
Here is a list of 10 characteristics that are common in high performing leaders. They do not come naturally. Great leaders are not born with them. The self-developed characteristics of great leaders are universal and timeless. They reflect what leaders choose to believe and how they decide to behave. Great leaders demonstrate all ten characteristics--regardless of their field.
1. Uncompromising integrity: It's the foundation for quality and service to both internal and external customers. The would-be leader who doesn't have this will be a "flash in the pan."
2. Absence of pettiness: The greatest drain of energy in an organization is pettiness. Eliminating it results in high energy. Leaders understand the difference between interesting and important.
3. Works on things by priority: This results in stability under pressure and makes for an excellent problem solver. A leader that works priorities prepares a daily priority list and starts with #1 and doesn't deal with #2 when finished, but instead deals with the new #1, and so on.
4. Courageous: Leaders don't lead life meekly. They know there is a deep well of courage within each of us. Used or unused, it's still there. Leaders do what they fear to keep fear from taking charge. Their credo is "It's always too soon to quit!"
5. Committed: Leaders know that working hard in a job you love doesn't bring an early death but that working hard in a job you hate does. They never hear low achievers saying to them, "Slow down! You're going to ruin your health!" Their work is a developed art form.
6. Goal oriented: Focus is the antidote for pain in the accomplishment of stellar goals. Leaders understand that a lack of goals starts both the physical and mental shutdown process.
7. Unorthodox: These are the creators, the innovators, and the think out of the box types. They learn from their successes and from their failures. They are "originals," not "copies."
8. Inspired enthusiasm that's contagious: Leaders achieve this by witnessing the accomplishment of their daily goals, not just daily tasks, which are part of a larger plan. They are acutely aware that if they don't have this contagious enthusiasm, then whatever mood they do have is also contagious.
9. Level headed in times of crisis: These people do not get the "come aparts" or go cry in their beer. They are steady and therefore grasp the needed facts quickly. They know that conflict overcome is strength gained.
10. Desire to help others grow: Leaders know there is no saturation to education and that passing along knowledge and growth experiences builds synergistic relations and camaraderie.
Here are some questions and "to dos" to start yourself on the road to greatness:
- How would you rate yourself, on a scale of 1 to 10, for each characteristic?
- How would your team members rate you on each characteristic?
- Pick out three characteristics you'd like to improve in yourself and map out a plan for that improvement.
“An organization quits improving right after the manger quits improving.”