Saturday, March 28, 2009



• Introduction
• Content
• Seven Personal Qualities Found in Good Leader
• How To Become A Greet Leader
• Revolution In Leadership Qualities for The 21’s
• Leadership and Higher Self-are Leader Born or
• Leadership- The five Worst Traits of Poor
• How leaders pursue their endeavors
• The Characteristic of A Good Leader
• Conclusion
• Reference


How often have you heard the comment, "He or she is a born leader?" There are certain characteristics found in some people that seem to naturally put them in a position where they're looked up to as a leader.

Whether in fact a person is born a leader or develops skills and abilities to become a leader is open for debate. There are some clear characteristics that are found in good leaders. These qualities can be developed or may be naturally part of their personality. Let us explore them further.


1. A good leader has an exemplary character. It is of utmost importance that a leader is trustworthy to lead others. A leader needs to be trusted and be known to live their life with honestly and integrity. A good leader “walks the talk” and in doing so earns the right to have responsibility for others.

2. A good leader is enthusiastic about their work or cause and also about their role as leader. People will respond more openly to a person of passion and dedication. Leaders need to be able to be a source of inspiration, and be a motivator towards the required action or cause. Although the responsibilities and roles of a leader may be different, the leader needs to be seen to be part of the team working towards the goal. This kind of leader will not be afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty.

3. A good leader is confident. In order to lead and set direction a leader needs to appear confident as a person and in the leadership role. Such a person inspires confidence in others and draws out the trust and best efforts of the team to complete the task well. A leader who conveys confidence towards the proposed objective inspires the best effort from team members.

4. A leader also needs to function in an orderly and purposeful manner in situations of uncertainty. People look to the leader during times of uncertainty and unfamiliarity and find reassurance and security when the leader portrays confidence and a positive demeanor.

5. Good leaders are tolerant of ambiguity and remain calm, composed and steadfast to the main purpose. Storms, emotions, and crises come and go and a good leader takes these as part of the journey and keeps a cool head.

6. A good leader, as well as keeping the main goal in focus, is able to think analytically. Not only does a good leader view a situation as a whole, but is able to break it down into sub parts for closer inspection. While keeping the goal in view, a good leader can break it down into manageable steps and make progress towards it.

7. A good leader is committed to excellence. Second best does not lead to success. The good leader not only maintains high standards, but also is proactive in raising the bar in order to achieve excellence in all areas.

These seven personal characteristics are foundational to good leadership. Some characteristics may be more naturally present in the personality of a leader. However, each of these characteristics can also be developed and strengthened. A good leader whether they naturally possess these qualities or not, will be diligent to consistently develop and strengthen them in their leadership role.

While a good leader can be taught and developed, I've always believed some people have natural born abilities to lead by nature. Some people have personal characteristics that allows them to be a leader without being taught.


Leadership is a process that encourages other people to achieve an objective and which guides the company in a more coherent and cohesive manner. It ensures the organization works successfully and achieves the desired goals. Leadership does not mean to shout at your followers to do certain task but to encourage accomplishing certain tasks. Leadership qualities are not driven by birth but they are developed through education and self experience. It is continuous learning process. Behavioral theory of leadership defines leadership as a relation and behavior of leader towards their followers.

Traditionally, leadership in 19th century and 20th centuries involve strict hierarchies, superiority. The leadership was about power and its abuse isolation and affections. People felt that in order to lead they need to prove themselves as they are superior to others. This is narrowly concerned with top down leadership in large organizations.

In the last decade of 20th century and first decade of 21 century there was gradual decline in the hierarchies. Immersed in the world of volatile markets, 21st century leaders are finding it hard to cope with more complex and consistently fast paced nature of the business. Many significant companies all over the world found the great need to replace their CEO's given the new business challenges where superseded leadership models are less effective, the traditional leadership no longer operates effectively in dealing current issues.

Leaders for 21st century organizations

Since the last decade of 20th century the business structures have become less hierarchal, more flattened, are driven by relationships and are enabled by network with improved connectivity. These developments lead the business to better respond to their dynamic environment. Changing market trends, flat structures and new collaborations have given the 21st century leaders many challenges. The business requirement before the leaders are constantly changing but do not know how to respond to them because they are unable to think differently about their roles.
The new set of leadership qualities with the 21st century leaders are:-
Able to find solutions outside the limits
Able to connect and work across boundaries
Able to make partnerships and collaborations to make potentiality growth
Open minded and inquisitive about their environment.
With efficient set of leadership qualities 21st century leader explore new business challenges and opportunities one that makes room for new opportunities.

Have you considered what it takes to be a leader of the 21st century?
To be a great leader means to lead by example and build an effective team of leaders. Now, building a team can be one of the most difficult tasks to growing your business. However, if you choose to build your team by beginning with the end in mind as Stephen Covey states, it's certainly a different story. By beginning with the end in mind, you vision the end result of having a successful, productive team that constantly delivers.
Having that successful, productive team is the difference between succeeding in business and failing miserably. Since every business owners objective is to prosper, there are two definitive


When we think of a leader, who comes to mind? There are examples from the past and present, adults and children, and leaders in spiritual, political, or even physical realms. Leaders' influence may be felt globally, or only in their neighborhoods or families. So what characteristics do leaders have? The following list comes from my own life experiences and my associations with a variety of leaders over time. An enormously successful business leader shared his Five Cs of leadership with me, to which I added a sixth: Conscience. The person who leads from the front and embodies these six qualities IS a leader.

Leaders lead from the front. Always demanding more of themselves than others, leaders are at the front of the charge, not observing from a distance. There are tremendous military examples, and you can probably name more than I. There are also quieter examples: the minister who asks a congregation to support a charity, and then is the first in line to serve; Florence Nightingale, who left a comfortable British lifestyle to create the professional nursing role, in spite of enormous societal barriers; and the team leader who stays with the emergency crews during disaster relief efforts, shift after shift, instead of monitoring progress from a distance.

A leader has a passionately held conviction, belief, or vision with which all thought and action are aligned. Think of people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahandas K. Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. They had deeply held convictions which drove their actions. As you will see throughout this list, they also led from the front and inspired millions of people.

Leaders remain committed to their cause regardless of circumstances. Always at risk of injury, torture, capture, and death, Joan of Arc's actions changed history, long past her early death at the stake. Or look more closely within your own circle of relationships. Is there a child who toils toward a goal, perhaps a spot on the varsity team, or a position in the school orchestra, committed in thought, word, and deed?

A leader has confidence that goals will be achieved. A leader radiates this confidence to others. A leader does not dissipate valuable mental and physical energy through doubt. This knowing attracts the very outcome desired.

A leader has the courage to act on beliefs. Courage isn't a lack of fear; courage is acting in spite of fear. Think of Pat Tillman, a larger than life professional football player at the peak of his career who joined the military after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He gave up his lifestyle to become an army Ranger specifically to protect others from terrorists, to follow his beliefs. With courage, he fought. With courage, he died in a tragic incident of friendly fire. Think also of the handicapped child who risks failure and humiliation in order to achieve the same developmental milestones as peers. This is quiet, endless courage with no fanfare.

A leader holds true to values, words, and actions, all of which align. A leader does not change direction according to the winds of favor. Followers count on a leader to be reliable and consistent. Think of the parent (leader) who faces anger and rejection from a teenage child (follower) when limits are enforced. Remaining consistent in parental behavior and limit setting is essential to help the child develop, and this means tolerating the negative feelings from the teenager. We've all played one of these roles.

None of the other five qualities matter without conscience. You will have examples that come to mind, some of wide renown, and some of very personal moment. My father was one of the most conscientious people I have ever met. By this I mean that his conscience was an integral part of his physical and spiritual fiber. As a child, I was often frustrated by what felt like his rigid code of ethics which interfered with my immediate gratification! A lifetime later, I value this ruler, this measure by which choices must be made in life's often "grey" areas. He bequeathed much to me, yet nothing more precious than this.
Leaders are made, not born. Every decision point offers the opportunity to choose in the direction of leadership. It is a simple, difficult way of being. Choose now, and at every moment.


If you want to make it big in life, be it in your business, team sports, individual success, You need to become a good leader. To be a leader, you need to have a vision. This is more so when you are building a business or running a company. Why is this so ? Because Vision is tied very closely to the traits of a good leader.

In short, Leadership is the key to a successful organisation. Why are you in Network Marketing ? You want to earn financial freedom. You want to have a constant flow of residual income. Then again, how to you achieve that ? You need to be a leader.

How do you become more valuable to your company. You want to get promoted. Then again, you cannot do that if you are not a leader who can bring the company to new heights.
You want to be a business owner. You want to set up your own company and have your own brand name. Then again, if nobody is helping you build your organisation, you probably cannot make it past the billion dollar mark alone. In order for others to work hard and voluntarily for you, you need to to be a leader.

First step to become a good leader ?
A good leader is normally driven by his vision. Though unclear, he sees an end state of his vision. A leader will therefore act on his belief to make this vision a reality, taking every opportunity present and whatever works to convince others to buy into his vision.

The ability to visualize a possible future state for an organization has always been an important component of successful leadership. Leaders who do not have a vision do not have a mission. Since they do not know where they will be heading, they certainly cannot see the exciting possibilities a vision can engulf.

Without a vision, leaders have nothing to hang on to in terms of motivation and belief when they are presented with pressure and doubts from the people around them. How can they lead if they themselves are doubtful of their own purpose?

A leader with a strong vision has the strength to overcome any difficult situation presented to him. With a clear vision, a leader can create a picture of the future, therefore allowing him to priorities what needs to be done to realize the end result.

As stated, vision is an end state. It is where the leader wants to go and brings those who believes in him along. If the vision is weak, the leader is weak and if the leader is weak, there is no way he can get his followers to follow him. Without followers, there are certainly no leaders. In another words, a vision sets the path of a leader's success.

I do hope it presents a clear idea how important vision is. So, if you are building your own organisation, team.. have you tied a vision of your success in you mind ? If not.. I think its time that you do..


• Challenges me to do my best.
• Sets a good example.
• Explains the reasons for instructions & procedures.
• Helps me polish my thoughts before I present them to others.
• Is objective about things.
• Lets me make my own decisions.
• Cares about me & how I'm doing.
• Does not seek the limelight.
• Won't let me give up.
• Gives personal guidance & direction, especially when I'm learning something new.
• Is empathetic & understanding.
• Is firm but fair.
• Keeps a results orientation.
• Makes me work out most of my own problems or tough situations, but supports me.
• Lets me know where I stand.
• Listens exceptionally well.
• Doesn't put words in my mouth.
• Is easy to talk with.
• Keeps the promises s/he makes.
• Keeps me focused on the goals ahead.
• Works as hard or harder than anyone else.
• Is humble.
• Is proud of those managers s/he has developed.
• Gives credit where credit is due.
• Never says "I told you so."
• Corrects my performance in private.
• Never flaunts authority.
• Is always straight-forward.
• Gives at least a second chance.
• Maintains an open door policy.
• Uses language that is easy to understand.
• Lets bygones be bygones.
• Inspires loyalty.
• Really wants to hear my ideas & acts on them.
• Lets me set my own deadlines.
• Celebrates successes.
• Is open & honest.
• Doesn't hide bad news.
• Gives me enough time to prepare for discussion.
• Is enthusiastic.
• Follows through.
• Is patient.
• Wants me to "stretch" my skills.
• Gives me his/her full attention during discussions, & won't be distracted.
• Has a sense of humor.
• Handles disagreements privately.
• Reassures me.
• Makes me feel confident.

• Tells me the "whole story."
• Says "we" instead of "I".
• Makes hard work worth it.
• Can communicate annoyance without running wild.
• Is courageous.
• Insists on training.
• Is a stabilizing influence in a crisis.
• Gets everyone involved.
• Wants me to be successful.
• Is optimistic.
• Operates well under pressure, or in a rapidly changing environment.
• Has a reputation for competence with his/her own peers.
• Has a good understanding of the job.
• Is tough & tender.
• Believes we can do it.
• Sets attainable milestones.
• Communicates philosophy & values.
• Is perceptive; doesn't believe that everything needs to be spelled out.
• Has a strong sense of urgency.
• Preserves the individuality of his/her team members.
• Thinks & operates at a level above that expected.
• Wants to make the organization the best in the industry.
• Empowers us.
• Is there when we need her/him.

What is a leader to do??
Most of us have faced significant challenges in our lives, yet none perhaps as challenging as the current business environment. Regardless of your confidence and experience even you may be questioning or feel elements of doubt where only a solid direction/vision and confidence existed only six months ago. The concerns are not just about our businesses but transcend to our personal retirement plans, investments, and futures for our kids, just to name a few.

Who can you trust?
Regardless of your political affiliations I think we all are wondering if the current government direction will work, or when we may see some changes, or the net-net affect on the economy, or more specifically on our business as well as our personal lives. Do you trust having so much of our potential success resting in the hands of decision-makers who have seemed to violate our trust both past and present? I am referring to not only Government but the Financial Community and leaders of large Corporations on a more "Macro" basis as well.
Can you imagine how your employees are feeling regarding the same issues? Survey Data from 2008 clearly reflects that employees under the age of 40 come to the workplace with a lack of trust in leadership. Recent studies before the crisis reflect that close to 60% of employees do not trust senior management, we can only assume the number is on the increase.

What is a Leader to Do?
Whether you lead a small organization, a large corporation, for profit, non-profit, the challenge before you is unprecedented. And before discussing techniques for re-building and maintaining trust, the first step in the process has to be the attitude of all of us as leaders.
Remember that our employees are studying our actions far more than our words, or should I say "rhetoric." Most of us have recently conducted meetings we have sung the praises of the strength of our internal teams. Leaders are becoming "cheerleaders" in an attempt to rally the troops, reassure our key people, and continue to strive to exceed our ability to provide solutions for our clients or members, all on less budget or with less people. But I might suggest the words will fall short when compared the perception of our real attitudes and more critically, our actions. If there was ever a time for us to "Walk the Walk" this is it...beginning today! I might respectfully recommend two concepts for your consideration.

Accept vs. Agree
Not all of us are CEOs. And even though we are leaders, many of us find ourselves caught in the middle between Mahogany Row and Main Street. We are being asked to communicate policies and cutbacks with a high degree of confidence when all the while we might even question the future ourselves.

This is a simple technique but critical in maintaining trust with our employees as well as sincere empathy for their concerns and doubts. We have to be careful to maintain the integrity of the organization's position because once it is lost; it is lost forever, especially with Gen X and Millennial employees.

The fine line between "Accepting" the concerns and issues of trust from employees is far different than necessarily "Agreeing" with the elements of mistrust and doubt that can quickly erode the culture of an organization. For example, to respond to an employee's concern, " I can really appreciate and understand your frustration," is radically different than, "Those folks up top do not have a clue, they are always changing their minds..."

Leaders need to demonstrate empathy, perhaps far more with younger employees than those from the Boomer and Traditionalist genre. But once you (as a Leader) or your actions side on the negative silos of mistrust or question leadership policies, you have lost influence with your people and crossed the line forever. Your individual credibility as a Middle Manager is gone and very difficult to re-coup. Your next attempt on the next key issue to communicate a policy or cultural shift even if it is truly a positive move will be questioned in a jaundiced way that will reduce your effectiveness in ways you probably will not even realize. And the key element of trust takes a major step backward.

Continue or Increase Employee Development
Today's younger employees are impatient. According to a Novations Study in 2008, 77% of Millennials will determine if they will stay with your organization or not in the first six months of employment. As we try to rally our employees with positive words of encouragement in tough times, in the eyes of our employees, our actions, policies, and decisions will tell the real story.

Organizations that are cutting back on training and development programs will bee seen as hypocritical in the eyes of their employees at levels far above any of those you might expect. As many organizations have cut back on people, it is critical to reach out and 'hug' those remaining for the increases in workload that are sure to come their way. We tell them verbally how much we appreciate their efforts, and then eliminate training that would potentially enhance their development. Metaphorically, we tell them how much we appreciate them, and then we take away the coffee pot. What is the true message we are sending through our real actions?

It is an extremely shortsighted perspective. The resources invested in training and development to increase trust and engagement are but a fraction of the real cost of reduced trust and engagement. Employees no longer trust our words, they are perceived as rhetoric. Can you blame them? Our Actions speak far louder and with more credibility. Our actions begin with our attitudes. Our people are taking their lead from how we act.
So what is a Leader to do? Step up and lead. The same mindset and attitude for success we had in solving the issues our clients and customers face everyday, the attitude of success and confidence, that brought all of us to where we are, will prevail. But I would ask you to remember to, Lead with Positive Actions....

elements that contribute to increasing your levels of success. The first is to build a team. The second element is to be able to walk away from your business.

Having a great team means they are also doing the same. They are building their teams by beginning with the end in mind as well. Every team member is building their business with the same exact model.

This is what we call leverage. Having that leveraged system promotes leadership. When the business owner demonstrates leadership, they are leading by example.
Leading by example is what all successful business leaders operate from. These successful business leaders are interested in like minded people that are capable of great leadership characteristics in every facet of their life.

Being the best leader means to inspire, show persistence of succeeding, and taking responsibility of sustaining a great team.
That's how you lead by example.

How leaders pursue their endeavors
There is an American country song performed by a country singer name Freddie Fender, who ought to be in the Country and Western Hall of Fame and is not; who happens to sing a song called wasted and days and wasted nights. Now, one may say reading this article; how does Dr. Baiz, relate a Country and Western song by the name of wasted days and wasted nights to "pursuing your endeavors"? Well, I am an eternal optimist and though; I am an eternal optimist, I am also a realist and so therefore, I am here to tell you that life is "short" and one must live it to its fullest not only pursuing your endeavors but enjoying the efforts of following your dreams.

As much as possible, seek buy-in from your love ones, friends, professional colleagues, let others know about your pursuits seek support; any support whether monetary or consultative support is critical as it is rare to reach success without a support team. Most successful leaders, are well connected, they have bonded long lasting relationship and in many instances reach agreements through endorsements or agreements to be part of a joint venture or an affiliate to the endeavor one is pursuing. People in most instances want to be a part of something evolving, growing and maturing with the potential of a beneficial monetary outcome. Intelligent leaders are always aware of not creating divisions between stakeholders of the pursuing endeavor or leaving any sense of disloyalty to an agreed approach in accomplishing a chosen endeavor; the reason being they are planners. Most successful leaders have reckoned well with their progress for progressive change; as the determination to succeed is something they can literally taste.

There is a view from many that advice on displaying a low profile in pursuit of an endeavor. However, from my perspective when a leader makes a decision to pursue an endeavor based on a vision there typically is no looking back. Leaders, commit and they go ALL out and commit to the fullest.

Successful leaders put the foot to the throttle at full speed ahead and do not stop until they have reached their aspired goals. Successful leaders are confident and they have a high level of Faith in the confidence to succeed and usually have an element of certain stubbornness to their pursuit. Quite honestly at times it is not easy living with successful leaders as they are immersed with their work and spend more time cultivating their endeavor than with their love one's.

Finally, take a look at great leaders, they always give the thanks to others for the great things they have accomplished and minimize their role. President Ronald Reagan use to always say "give the credit to others it's not about me it's about them". That's leadership to the core.

Quiet leadership-inspiring contribution
I know you've heard this one before - "There are two kinds of people in the world..."
For my purposes today those two kinds are Those-That-Make-It-Happen and Those-That-Help-It-Happen.

We all know the Make-It-Happens. At some point in our experiences, we've probably all fallen into this category. We see something that sparks our interest and motivates us. We roll up our sleeves and get to work, usually engaging the Help-It-Happens and then well, we get things done.

Just recently, one of my women's groups talked about this and one member made her feelings very clear. Unless there was some type of discernible activity involved then you weren't living up to your full potential and needed prodding as far as she was concerned.

Like so many of us, she'd fallen into the trap of comparing and measuring. We want the activity we can measure. We love our To-do lists and evaluations. Unless it's visible, we discount the impact. After all, if you can't count off the miles, how do you know you're making progress as a leader?

Is there a place for quiet leadership?
My answer is a resounding YES. Something as simple as really listening to another person provides enormous value to the human experience. One of the consistent responses I get from my coaching clients is how much benefit they derive from simply being heard. It's such a rare commodity in the modern life that it stands out as something unique when we experience it.
How often do we rush ahead, thinking we know the answer without ever really hearing the problem? Often it's not the words being spoken that are most revealing but the body language, the energy in the voice. If we're not paying attention we can miss the almost invisible communication that is crucial to understanding one another on a deeper level.

What makes great leaders??
History has shown that times of crisis produce the greatest leaders. Clearly 2009 is a time of crisis for not only the United States of America - but all the nations on earth. This is time when great leaders are needed. What are the characteristics of those leaders? Based on crises of the past, some of those necessary characteristics are vital in not just government but also business, education and other not-for-profit areas and science.

Lead From the Front
Throughout history the greatest leaders have led by example - sometimes described in the military as leading from the front (as in front of the troops rather than in the rear). Today we need leaders who lead by doing and not just by saying. George Patton the great World War II General was respected by his troops by often positioning himself in the front lines rather than in the rear. His men risked their lives daily and he knew they had to see that their commander was willing to do the same thing.

Dictators are not - in the long run - effective leaders. As a result, effective leaders need to be masters at the art of negotiation and compromise. If there is something in it for all parties then their will be a greater likelihood of acceptance or buy-in. The great leaders of history know what they want - but are willing to accept something less to achieve their long term goals and objectives. The greatest Presidents in U.S. history were masters of compromise. What they ended up with was often something less than what they desired at the outset of a program or a policy but they worked with Congress to achieve the larger goal and end up with legislation that would support their overall objectives. The same is true in business and in other fields also.
The greatest leaders in history have vision. They see what is not yet real and work - over time - to make it a reality. Not only do they formulate the vision - they have the ability to explain it in terms so that others can see and share in the vision. Franklin Roosevelt has a vision for saving the U.S. from the greatest economic disaster in the country's history. He developed his vision; he shared it with those surrounding him and ultimately communicated it to Congress and the American public. Action followed which - over time- made his vision a reality.

The leader as selfless or self-sacrificing seems quaint and out of vogue today. Yet the greatest leaders in history were both selfless and self-sacrificing. Think of it as country or company or cause before self. The business leaders who offered their services to the US Government during the Great Depression and World War II for $1.00 per year are examples of this. Rather than increase their wealth on the back of these crises, they gave of themselves for something greater. The same can be said of Teddy Roosevelt who left the position of Assistant Secretary of the Navy at a relatively young age to create and help lead what became known as the "Rough Riders" during the Spanish American War in 1898. He left a job he loved, his wife, children and the comforts of home to face all the danger and hardship required to win a conflict in the front lines.

The greatest leaders in history were humble and self-effacing. They did not take themselves too seriously and they acknowledged their failings. No greater example of this exists today than President Abraham Lincoln who regularly poked fun at himself. This did nothing to diminish his effectiveness as a leader - or his place in history.

The saying goes that "knowledge is power". Those who hold power great or small should have and constantly increase their knowledge. It was said that President John Kennedy has "ink in his vein" because he devoured newspapers. Thomas Jefferson's library was great and diverse. It became the foundation for the Library of Congress. By 1941, General Douglas MacArthur had one of the greatest libraries of his day with both historical and military books and was intimately familiar with most of them. Unfortunately he ordered the library dynamited when the Japanese captured Manila in the Philippines. Great leaders need to have vast amounts of knowledge - both general and specific - at the disposal when making decisions. While staff is helpful, the decision ultimately often comes down to the leader's combination of knowledge and experience.

The great communicator was the title often given to President Ronald Regan. While he did not have the greatest education or perhaps the best credentials (an actor then governor) for a U.S. President, he did have the gift of effectively communicating his vision, his philosophy, his policies and his world view. That ability to communicate has led to his ranking as one of the greatest Presidents in U.S. history. Communication means not only speaking but also listening. And the greatest leaders in history have been excellent listeners - whether to their staffs, their constituents, their troops, their employees or their adversaries. Communicating without effective listening is only half the equation.

Decision Making
Tough times require tough and timely decisions. And the greatest leaders know how to make difficult decisions and to make them in "real time". With the American Civil War nearing its fourth year of bloody conflict, Union General Ulysses Grant committed to fighting the Confederates non-stop without pauses to "lick his wounds". The casualties were staggering and caused outcries by politicians, the public and the troops. His men began pinning tags with the names to the back of their uniform coats so their bodies could be identified because they were so certain of their fate. And yet Grant stuck with his decisions and brought an end to the war in April 1865. While not all decisions are life and death, leaders need to be able to make the tough decisions, make them in a timely manner and stick with them in the face of harsh criticism.

It does not good for a leader to have a vision if that vision changes daily or weekly. A great leader must have focus. That means a few key issues, concepts, programs or initiatives. In spite of many distractions and problems, General George Washington was able to get his army and the government he served to maintain a focus on whatever was necessary to keep the army trained, equipped and fed in the field. While he did not win many battles, the on-going and relentless presence of the Continental Army (rather than local militias) in the end caused the French to acknowledge and support the American's cause and ultimately gain independence from the King of England. While there are always hundreds if not thousand's of details and issues facing leaders, the great leaders spend the majority of time on a few critical ones and delegate the rest to competent subordinates and staff.


As a leader you are tasked with delivering results. The best leaders know that consistently delivering great results is not something that they can do in isolation. To get others to support them in consistently delivering results they need to avoid the 5 worst traits of poor leaders. In my experience these include:

Trait 1: Being arrogant
Without doubt you want a leader to be self assured and confident. At the same time you want them to be self aware and understand the impact that they have on others. If you are someone who is arrogant you will do a great job at turning people off and disengaging them.

Trait 2: Unwilling to listen
You are the leader, you are in charge, you take the decisions and you make things happen. You don't need the views and opinions of others- right? Well yes if you want do completely de-motivate people and isolate them. On the other hand if you want to work with your people to deliver great service and performance, make the time to listen to them.

Trait 3: Bullying
No one likes or respects a bully. A bully is not only bad news for those that they lead but is costly too. An article in Personnel Today in December 2007 suggests that it hits the bottom line. At that time it was suggested that work place bullying was costing more than £2bn a year in sick pay, staff turnover and productivity.
In the long run, leaders who rely on bullying or heavy handed tactics will more than likely find themselves in the middle of an ocean in a sinking ship without a life jacket at some point. How appealing does that sound?

Trait 4: Favouritism
Tough as it may be, your job as a leader is to try and aim to treat everyone the same and avoid favouritism. It can be tempting to have favourites but can be extremely dangerous in the long run. The reason is that you will create divisions in teams that can lead to 'in fighting' instead of time and energies being focused on results.

Trait 5: Disorganised
If you have ever worked for someone who consistently turns up late for meetings, does not have all of their papers available and fails to keep on track, you will know just how troublesome this can be. With more and more demands on leaders' time, being organised is no longer an optional extra.

How to increase your sphere of influence??
What do Moses, Dwight Moody, Billy Graham and Beth Moore have in common? Each was chosen as a vessel of honor by God. Each was required to be fully dependent upon Him as they lead people. Each was given a position by God which just so happened to also be valued and honored by men.

What do Ruth, Joseph, Paul and you have in common? Each was chosen as a vessel of honor by God. Each was required to be fully dependent upon Him as they lead* people. Each was given a position by God which just so happened to be less valued (or, in the case of Ruth, Joseph and Paul, sometimes even despised) by men.
God Himself has determined your position in life. Whether or not He has you preaching to a den full of lions, like Daniel, or preaching to lost souls in a prison, like Paul, or preaching with your god-honoring life to co-workers in a field, like Ruth, your "position" of honor is the one He gave you, regardless of how that is valued (or devalued) by men.

As I work with Christian women speakers, I frequently get emails from gals who are discouraged because they are not getting the number of speaking invitations they long to receive. I also get emails from speakers who are getting so many invitations that they don't know how to handle it. What makes the difference?

I propose that there are four things you can do to gracefully move from today to tomorrow and to, eventually, your full God-ordained sphere of influence:

1) Memorize, meditate on and pray Matthew 6:33 which explains the attitude God requires from leaders: "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." In the end, it is God's choice whether He enables you to bring Him honor from a position in a castle or in a cabin.

2) Start today to live at the level of dependence on God and accountability that will be required of you should God ever grant you the position of honor you are seeking (or to which you believe God is calling you). Like Joseph, your path to prince-dome is most likely going to cost you everything you hold dear.

3) Practice, practice, practice! "Practicing the Presence of God" is the title of a little book that has impacted the lives of millions of people for many decades. It was written by a "chubby, bumbling" monk who worked in the kitchen of a monastery. If God can use Brother Lawrence to build His kingdom, are you willing to let Him use you, from where ever He has placed you? Identify your current kitchen or prison: It might be, like Paul's, a literal cell, or like Hannah's, the prison of barrenness or like Mary's, the mother of Jesus who spent her whole life convinced that Jesus was going to save the Jews. She raised His siblings (none of whom believed in her faith or in Jesus' diety), she must have wondered about His lack of motivation to get going on God's work during His 20's, and she was surely confused as she watched Him die the death of a criminal, providing not one shred of hope that He could ever fulfill His mission from her perspective.

Mary's role as Jesus' mother is only now, after her death, held in such a state of honor. For the entirety of her life, she did menial things, surrounded by unbelieving family members and a society who was convinced of her sin of premarital sex.

4) Move forward by faith! My sister taught me this definition of faith, "Faith is doing what I would do, if I knew for sure that God was going to do for me what I am asking Him to do." This faith-focus allowed her to exercise and eat right until, after eighteen years of marriage, prayers and miscarriages, God granted her a full-term pregnancy and a healthy baby.
If you knew for sure that God was going to give you exactly what you are praying for right now, what would you get busy doing today? Do it!

Too many times we think that God only uses the "big" names. That is travesty! God has always, and will always, use every single person willing to be used. It is, in fact, our petty demands for power and position that often hold Him back from using us.
Join me in praying that God would simply accomplish through my life the exact and full measure of what He envisioned before He created me in my mother's womb.

Remember: Like the engineer who designs the bicycle to be ridden for pleasure, exercise and transportation, so we have a Creator who created us for a specific purpose. Anytime we try to do or become anything other than God's plan for our life, we find ourselves angry, ineffective, and full of self-pity. It is as we allow God to accomplish His work through us, whatever that is, that we find pure joy.

*Leadership: If you are over two years old, your life and choices are having an influence on someone, which makes you a leader.

Lin Bothwell in "The Art of Leadership", points out that two qualities set true leaders apart. One, they have a dream they are determined to carry out. Second, more than just dreamers they are people of action.

At the workplace, we have managers and their managers. But where are the leaders? It is difficult to find a good leader. At a certain point in time you will see a flash of excellence. One person in the workplace is behaving more humanely and is getting his work done. I suggest you stay close to this person and you will learn. This one has it different than the others. He is loved, respected and people carry out the tasks he gives them. This is the Leader.
They are Action Oriented: A good leader will show at the very outset a dislike for too much of procrastination. He is in a bit of a hurry to get things into action. He is able to take this action-centered stance only because of the people around him. He knows his goals and works with the people around him to generate a common census and support.

They are Influence Oriented: He/she knows well that his position is important to the organisation. He is ready to use his power to influence and to get your suggestion worked out. He would be ready to have you do your project and will get the way cleared for you from his superiors. He is wary of the work authority.
They are People Oriented: The Leader knows well that a healthy team will create a healthy promotion. He creates a participative style of leadership. Involving everyone in his team in the decision making. Lets them carry out the decisions they have together arrived at. The people love him.

They are Plan/Process Oriented: Once he leave the tasks to be carried out. He stays around setting deadlines and asking for followup meetings and getting more feedback and areas of improvement activated. He would seem orderly and systematic about his work.

Leadership tips – 5 communication mistakes to avoid..
Communication is a core leadership skill. There are three main types of communication:
1. Writing
2. Speaking
3. Listening

Many leaders excel in one or two of these areas but many struggle with at least one area. So what are the 5 common mistakes leaders must avoid when it comes to communication?

Mistake 1: Using position power
When leaders focus on their position power or status when it comes to communication they may well be less effective when it comes to listening. Their desire to get their point of view across or to be in control becomes the focal point rather than communicating effectively.
Solution: There leader will always have to take the final decision but it is important to listen to and understand the different views and contributions before taking decisions.

Mistake 2: Not being prepared
Leaders often find themselves having to communicate in demanding or even stressful situations. They might have to communicate a new strategy or closure of part of the business for example. Alternatively they might be communicating with the media in response to a product recall or a major incident. In these situations it is vital that the leader is properly prepared not just in terms of their message but also for questions that will be raised. When a leader is not prepared, they can easily say or respond in a way that does long term damage to their reputation.

Solution: Make sure you are properly prepared for all significant communications and take the time to consider objections and questions that might be raised.

Mistake 3: Using the wrong communication type
Some types of communication are more appropriate than others. As a general rule where there is a major impact on one or more stakeholder groups, face to face communication will usually be the most appropriate way. For example, imagine you are about to make 100 people redundant. E-mail or even worse text messaging is not likely to be good way of communicating this to staff.

Solution: Choose the communication type that is most appropriate to the situation. If you are unsure, ask yourself how you would like to receive the communication if you were in the shoes of the other person.

Mistake 4: Not structuring your communication
Written communication whether it is a letter, e-mail, report or presentation needs structure. It is vital that you spend time when preparing a written communication to think about how best to structure it. If you fail to structure your communication, chances are that it will not flow or read as well as it could.
Solution: Make the time to plan and structure your written communications. Consider the best order of your content and the language that would work best.

Mistake 5: Losing sight of your audience
Every communication has a recipient (or audience). The recipients (or audience) are the reason for communicating in the first place. Every communication has a specific purpose. It might be to get buy-in, to get a decision, to collect views or to influence to name just a few. Lose sight of your purpose and chances are you will lose sight of your audience.
Solution: Whenever you communicate keep your focus on your audience and the outcome you want to achieve.

Bottom Line - Communication is a core leadership skill. So where do you excel or need to improve your communication to be an even more effective leader.

Leading wth focus and intention
Your general leadership skills are helpful and useful, especially during tough times. In addition, the more you exhibit those skills, the more people in the organization will emulate them. By following your actions, the organization will generate its own leaders at all levels. But it is necessary to use your skills in a more distinct way, to hone your leadership into focused, intent, and useful actions for individuals and the organization as a whole. Here are five ways to lead with focus and intention.

First of all, you must know what you're trying to achieve and how you're going to get there. This may sound elementary, but leaders can become "all talk", especially when things are at a high level of uncertainty. Analyze your own knowledge of this subject. Ask yourself where your organization is and what it is trying to achieve. This means looking again at the vision and mission of the organization. Perhaps it means creating a five-point strategic plan based on that vision and mission. But this also means that you have to get familiar with the organization's operations in order to know how you're going to lead it from where it is now to where you want it to be. But the main point here is to know where you're going and how you're going to get there.

Next, you must take the "how" you've just discovered, i.e. how you're going to get the organization from point A to point B, and learn to talk about it. Don't simply talk about it at the executive or leadership levels. Take it to the "streets" of your organization. Know how to talk about the "how" to the front lines, the middle managers, the accounting department, and the salespeople. Know how each unit you're addressing fits in with the "how" and go from there. Leadership is inspirational, but imagine how inspirational you can really become if you can talk intelligently to all the levels about how each person will contribute to the achievement of the organization's goals.

The first two actions may be fairly easy. Or, depending on how you've involved yourself in the past, they may come with a difficult learning curve. But once you know what you're trying to achieve, how you're going to achieve it, and how to talk about it, you must be prepared for the obstacles that will come your way. In the current economic uncertainty, the one guarantee is that tomorrow will probably not be like today. And you must prepare for this. When obstacles arise, go back to the drawing board to figure out how they affect the original goal and mission. Then figure out the "how" once again. This is where your executive or leadership team comes in - each one of them has specific experience that will help you create a new plan in the face of obstacles. But the biggest thing to remember is that when obstacles occur, focus the organization back on the mission and goals using the new and improved "how". Your job is to keep people from losing their focus in uncertainty. You and your team have to figure it out and keep moving.

Along with a refocus in the face of uncertainty, you can use your other leadership skills. Think about how you can use your powers of persuasion and negotiation to refocus the groups that may be suspicious of changes, even if the changes mean that the organization is saving itself from a bad situation. Also think about how you can use your ability to choose the best battles to refocus not only your own energy but that of the organization, as well. All of the skills you've built as a leader over time will now come in handy. It's not up to the rest of the organization to get your buy-in. It's now up to you to get their buy-in; every person in every group must come with you in order to keep things moving.

Finally, if things change completely, you must still refocus. Your entire organizational goal or mission may change in the face of new problems, issues, and obstacles. But there is no giving up on leading with focus and intent. Find the organization's new goal, the new "how", and start over again. This can be the most difficult aspect of leadership - it means that you may have to admit whatever failures caused the problem, and whether they were internal, external, or both. But once you do that, keep the focus on the new goal and the new "how". Position the change as a field of ripe opportunities that each person can take advantage of as the organization moves forward.

Leadership is one thing, but leading with focus and intention is another. Do both and you'll see that the organization follows.


Definition of Leadership quality.
There is no single statement that one can give as the definition of leadership. It is a term that has many aspects to it. Extraordinary is an attribute of a good leader. Most people regard them as the "X" leaders. This is because they go the extra mile to ensure things are working the way they ought to. Such leaders always keep rediscovering themselves by acquiring new skills. They care deeply for their followers.

Different people have contradicting ideas as whether leaders are made or if they are born. Whichever you stand for, there is one common thing. All leaders must be able to influence others. He must be a catalyst that quickens a positive reaction in people. Great leaders are those who put the interest of the people before them. Some have even died in their quest for justice and equality.

Keeping a keen eye on current events is important in the definition of leadership. A leader should be able to understand the environment in which he lives. He should be very flexible to allow changes to occur. Proper guidance and responsibility is needed to train young leaders. This is the only way that they will be able to be effective in the future.
Charisma is one aspect that can't be forgotten in the definition of leadership. Discipline is one thing that a good leader must have. Without it, the leader cannot be able to instill positive values in his followers. A leader can easily loose credibility among his followers. Once it is known that all he does is for his own gain, a leader will lose popularity.

Successful leadership – 5 essential leadership attributes..
Successful leadership relies on much more than just knowledge and skill. The most successful leaders also have certain attributes that help them to stand out from the crowd. So what are some of those attributes?

Attribute 1: Personal Drive
Reaching a leadership level in an organisation and then achieving success when in that role requires a huge level of personal drive. Truth is you really have to want to achieve success and be willing to do what it takes to achieve it. Personal drive is the willingness to keep pushing on, even when the odds are stacked against you and the obstacles appear impossible to overcome.
Too often people are attracted to leadership because of the financial rewards. Yet in reality, it is not money that will keep you motivated when facing challenges. It is your personal drive.

Attribute 2: Comfortable Taking Risk
I once read a great quote that said something along the lines that leaders are visionaries, fearless and had no concept of the odds against them. In essence what this means is that leaders need to be comfortable with taking risks.
If you have come up the ranks through a professional or functional route this can sometimes be challenging. For example, few would regard accountants as natural risk takers, where prudence is one of the fundamental accounting concepts. However, the challenge is to be comfortable taking balanced risks.

Attribute 3: Results Focus
Yes leaders need to be competent at setting goals. More importantly they need to be able to define with clarity and simplicity the results to be achieved. Once they have done this they need to mobilise everyone else to focus on achieving results.

Attribute 4: Masters of Priority
Successful leaders know what matters, what needs their personal attention and what is best left to others. They are masters at prioritising and using their biggest limiting factor, their time.

Attribute 5: Able To Appreciate Others Viewpoints
While leaders do not want to bee seen as soft touches, they do need to be able to understand and relate to others points of view or perspectives. It does not mean that they need to take on board every single point f view, but at the same time they need to be open enough to differing points of view.


You will sometimes hear people describe someone as a natural born leader. Many politicians, businessmen and women, and politicians are sometimes described in this way. This would lead many people to believe that you have to be born with certain qualities or attributes to make you be seen as this kind of person in charge. But, can you turn yourself into a natural born leader?

What is Natural Born Leader
A person who is described as a natural born leader possesses a certain attitude as well as other qualities that make other people describe them in this way. What must you possess in order to be seen this way as well?

1. Live without fear. People who are natural born leaders do not allow fear to control them. They instead move forward past any potential fear and this inspires other people.

2. Make decisions quickly. You have to be able to make decisions in a timely manner. There are going to be certain things that come up that you will have to make a decision quickly, and natural leaders do this. They do not procrastinate.

3. Use your charm to persuade people. Natural leaders use their charm and not force when they are persuading people. You can take one look at a speech by President Obama to see this quality in action.
These three qualities will help you to show the world around you that you are a person in charge. And when you master these attributes, people may refer to you as a natural born leader. You do not have to be born a leader. You can grow into one.

Qualities of a Leader..
Wanting to be a leader in your workplace, your business, or your community is a noble pursuit. While it is easy to just become another face in the crowd, it takes a little more to not only want to stand out but to also accept the responsibilities that come along with such a role. Leadership is not just the act of bossing people around or making sure that things go your way, it is about being a person who is in charge and responsible as well.

There are certain qualities that you must possess if you would like the rest of the world to view you in this role. You can work on these qualities and position yourself into the role of leading in your chosen area. These qualities are:

1. Having an open mind. You have to be able to be open to new ideas, other people's opinions, as well as to accept that other people will be able to give you input that can help and benefit you in your role.

2. Knowing your role. You have to know that you are in a position to make the hard decisions and that they will not only affect you, but others as well. This means that you have to be able to show empathy towards others as well.

3. Accepting responsibility for failure. While you may not want to be in this position, we all know that there are going to be things that do not work out in your favor or that just did not turn out the way you thought they would. You have to be able to accept that you are the one responsible for the decisions that were made and accept the consequences as well as learn from the experience.

The choice to become a leader is not an easy one and there will not always be an easy path. But this is why you have chosen this position and why you are committed to being an example that others may follow.

Leadership – The biggest barrier to successful change..
Leading at the best of times is challenging. In the current economic climate, many businesses and those that lead them are being challenged to an even greater extent to keep delivering results.

For many, carrying on doing the same thing is quite simply no longer an option. For example, the support of government in the financial services industry in the UK and just recently the car industry in the US, changes things significantly. Government and more importantly tax payers become major stakeholders in the business in many ways. With support from government there are generally conditions that have to be met.

In most change situations, the biggest barrier is not about process or project management. It is about getting others to see the need for and importance of making change. Let's face it, most people don't like change. They may even go to extreme lengths to resist or avoid it. They will look to rationalise their behaviours and actions by focusing on the circumstances. While this is all understandable, it is vital that as a leader you:

1. Explain in very clear and simple terms the current situation.

2. Outline the likely consequences for the organisation and individuals of doing nothing.

3. Set out what you believe needs to happen and by when to address the situation.

4. Get support from a sufficiently large cohort of the workforce and their representatives, where appropriate.

Bottom Line- Overcoming the number one barrier to successful change is all about getting others to see the need and importance of change. This will challenge your influencing and communication skills as well as testing your strength of character. The big question is are you ready for the challenge?

Traits of charismatic leadership..
Today's world needs leaders who are willing and ready to stand for what they believe in. Charismatic leadership is what Alexander the great had. He was able to cross the Alps mountain with his soldiers. Nothing of the sort had happened before during this time. His followers had so much belief in their leader that whatever he told them, they faithfully followed.

Charismatic leadership is a trait that attracts peoples mind, body and soul.Some people are ready to die for their leaders. These leaders are known to value what the people feel and what they yearn for. These leaders are known to constantly re-innovate themselves with the aim of improvement. The trick is in understanding the environment that they are in. They are able to use their wit and skill to pass messages with both body and oral languages.

As a leader, one should create a unique identity of the group that distinguishes it from from others. As a result their followers can easily identify each other. One therefore has the feeling of belonging somewhere. The leader who has charisma is known to walk the talk. Most of the time, these leaders are known to take high risks for the people. Some have died in the fight for the will of the people to prevail.

Just like life, charismatic leadership has two sides of a coin. The bad side is that the leader can use the "hold" he has on people to manipulate them. Stalin and Hitler are classical examples of such leaders. These leaders have been known to elevate themselves above criticism. Even if they are wrong, no one dares challenge them.

Leadership Tools for Small Business..
Leadership is a concept that is sometimes identified only with large organizations, but don't be fooled by this assumption. Leaders are present in every organization, at every level, and this includes small business. As a small business leader, you are probably more visible and more accessible than leaders in a large company or organization, so your skills are being watched and emulated more closely. Leadership tools and actions span quite a bit of distance, but here are five important leadership tools for the small business.

First, try "planning proactively". In small business, it's easy to become reactive. After all, the ups and downs of small business can be much more tumultuous and emotional since they come on quickly and affect a smaller population. But that it is no reason to avoid making plans and being proactive about problem solving. Be honest with yourself and your team about what issues could be ahead. With this, you should know the pitfalls of small business and be aware of how you can solve some of the problems you might encounter. Involve your team in problem solving at every opportunity. This will give them a "stake" in your business and the chance to participate in planning sessions.

Next, create a vision for the business. You probably have a personal vision and had one when you started the business. Does that vision still work for the business? Have you achieved the original vision? If so, it's time to think of what the future vision is. Along with a vision, what is the mission and goal of the business? Think about these important details, write them down, and visualize them. You can make your vision part of your everyday life - and remember that a vision does not have to be reserved for the largest organizations. Here's the biggest benefit of this exercise: leaders are visionary thinkers. When you focus on that vision every day, you'll start to think like the visionary you are. With vision, comes leadership.
Third, you must share your vision with your family, friends, and most of all, your small business team. This is the hard part. As a small business owner, entrepreneur, and leader, the vision is probably a part of you. With large organizations, the vision is usually a shared one to begin with. But your small business was your idea - it's your "baby" and a vision that concerns it could be personal. And that is difficult to put out there for everyone to see. But you'll notice that by sharing that vision, you are letting your team become a part of it and live it every day just as you are. Post the vision around the workspace and keep your pride in ownership. By sharing the vision, you'll truly become a visionary leader. You'll find yourself making decisions based on the vision, and leading the team to do the same thing.

Fourth, be sure to manage and lead - and know the difference between the two. Small business leaders are usually in the position of wearing two hats, that of the manager or supervisor, and that of the leader. Management is the day-to-day, short-term direction that you provide. Your management may include dealing with customer and employee issues, vendors, orders, and even front line work. You may find yourself scheduling, managing projects, and hiring employees. But don't forget to go above these things. Provide direction through your vision. Take time to coach employees on their performance. Cheer them on for good work and gently correct them for not-so-good-work. Show your team that you can manage but that you are also a leader who will take them to the next level.

Finally, be willing and able to change. Small business leaders have pride in ownership. The business you created is close to your heart - and it can be difficult to change. But be aware that change will come whether you want it to or not. Don't get stuck by not changing to meet new employee, customer, and market needs. Examine your systems and operations and make the determination if they are really working or not. Most of all, accept suggestions for change from your team. Open the floor to new ways of doing business. After all, your team may become more intimately familiar with your business, operations, and customers than you are. By being willing to change and open to suggestion, you are proving your leadership.
If your small business needs a "shot in the arm" or if you are just starting out, keep these five leadership tools in mind at all times. Employ them every day and watch your organization grow.

What Makes a Leader a Leader..??
Understanding the traits of leadership is a key to career success.
Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Napoleon was just a tad over five feet tall. He had a chronic stomachache. Another commanding Frenchman, Charles DeGaulle, towered well over six feet. FDR was bound to a wheelchair. Teddy Roosevelt was a robust outdoorsman. JFK's speeches flowed like mellow wine. Gerald Ford had trouble getting through a speech without at least one gaffe.

Some lead by charm and candor; others by force or deception, fear or hatred. Millions of people followed Gandhi, the epitome of moral leadership, and Hitler, the personification of evil.

One scholar, in what appears to have been an attitude of resignation, came to the conclusion that leaders just sort of emerge on the career path. We know a leader when we see a leader.
It has been posited that one could take any group of people, put them on a desert island, strip them of all their earthly possessions, clear their minds of any previous relationships, leave them alone for 30 days, after which time the same persons who had held a leadership position in the group's prior incarnation would do so in the new order of things.
Many years ago, a Swedish sociologist determined that there is a definite pecking order among chickens. The leader regularly pecks on the number two chicken which in turn pecks on the next down the chain of command, etc., etc.
The same system prevails throughout the animal kingdom.

One student of the subject declares, "Just as the real basics of human nature do not change from one generation to another, so the real basics of human leadership do not change from one leader to another - from one field to the next - but remain always and everywhere the same."

True enough, but that leaves unanswered this question: what are these "real basics of human leadership?"

We recognize leadership when we see one person convincing others that by following his direction they can reach an objective that he has deemed to be worthwhile.
There are five traits of leadership.

1. Leaders have zeal, courage and self-confidence that enable them to get out front of the crowd and risk the price of failure.

2. Leaders see opportunities among the challenges.

3. Leaders can motivate themselves without waiting for others to light the spark of action.

4. Leaders listen; they identify the cravings of those whom they would lead. They show empathy.

5. Leaders have the ability to communicate so as to convince followers that they have the answer to the question that resides in all of us: What's in it for me?
Can the traits of leadership be learned? Yes.

Where does one acquire these skills that lead to career success?
In order to learn to be a leader one should diligently study the way leaders lead and adapt those traits. Read books about leaders. Watch them in action. Emulate them.
Dr. Kenneth Dodge, a psychologist at Duke University, says, "social intelligence that translates into leadership skills can be rehearsed. It's like shooting a basketball: we see kids improve the more they practice."

Not everyone wants to take on the work and risk of being a leader. A place of leadership does not define career success for everyone. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you don't want to be a leader, make your best effort to be a good follower. Good leaders require good followers.

What Makes for An Effective Leader?

Copyright 1996-2007, Sandra Larson, Minneapolis, MN.
Sandra Larson, previous executive director of MAP for Nonprofits, was once asked to write her thoughts on what makes an effective leader. Her thoughts are shared here to gel other leaders to articulate their own thoughts on what makes them a good leader. (See Related Info - Library Topics in the sidebar.)

An effective leader is a person with a passion for a cause that is larger than they are. Someone with a dream and a vision that will better society, or at least, some portion of it. I think a very key question has to be answered: Can someone who is a charismatic leader, but only to do evil or to promote herself, be a leader -- especially if she has a large following?” I would say no, she is a manipulator.

Also, without passion, a leader will not make the necessary courageous and difficult decisions and carry them into action. This is not to imply that all decisions are of this nature. But you can be sure, some of them will be. The leader without a passion for a cause will duck.
Holder of Values

Leadership implies values. A leader must have values that are life-giving to society. It is the only kind of leadership we need. This then also implies values that are embedded in respect for others. So often we think of people skills or caring about people as being “warm and fuzzy.” I think a leader can be of varying ‘warmth and fuzziness,” but a leader has to respect others. You can’t lead without it. Otherwise we are back to manipulation. Respect means also that one can deal with diversity -- a critical need for a leader in today’s world -- probably always has been, although diversity may have been more subtle in the homogenous societies of the past.

This is a bit different than passion, but in other ways it isn’t separable. If one doesn’t care about a subject, an issue, a system, then one won’t spend the time thinking about how it could or should be different. Yet, one could have strong feelings about something and not good ideas, particularly if she didn’t spend a good deal of time studying the topic. Thus a leader has to have some ideas about change, about how the future could be different. Vision then is based on two components that leaders also need: creativity and intellectual drive.

One has to try to think out of the box to have good visions and to come up with effective strategies that will help advance the vision. I’d also add here the need for a sense of humor. It’s a creative skill that is in great need by leaders. We should read the funnies more!
Intellectual Drive and Knowledge

I believe a leader has to be a student. In general it is hard for a leader to be around enough other leaders to pick this up just through discussion, so I think a leader has to be a reader and a learner. Furthermore, I can’t see someone leading in a field they know nothing about.
Confidence and Humility Combined

While one can have a great vision and good ideas for change, and even passion for it, if one isn’t confident, then action will not occur. Without action, there is no change. Yet, paradoxically, a leader needs to have humility. No matter how creative and bright one is, often the best ideas and thinking are going to come from someone else. A leader needs to be able to identify that, have good people around who have these ideas. This takes humility, or at least lack of egocentricity. The leader is focused on the ends and doesn’t have to see herself always as the conduit or creator of the strategy to get to that end.

None of the above assets will work for a leader if she can’t speak or write in a way to convince others that they should follow along, join the team, get on board. All the above gets to the old adage that a leader knows how to do the right thing and a manager knows how to do things right. But a leader has to be a manager, too. I don’t think these skills and abilities can be separated out very easily. Both need to be in the mix.
Thus a leader has to be some of the following, too:

Someone who can see what needs to be done and help the team plan and organize the getting it done. Management is getting things done through people. While a writer or other visionary person may be very influential, even seminal for the cause of change, this is not quite my definition of a leader. A leader means to me, someone who is taking action, trying to get others to do something they want to see done.

Interpersonal Skills
Leaders must have the ability to act in an interpersonally competent manner, yet they also need to learn the techniques of good listening, honest and open communication, delegating, conflict resolution skills, etc., to actually get work done and keep the whole movement/organization/project together.

Other Business Skills
While in some arenas you may be able to get by with only some of these skills or none of them (if you can hire good enough people to do it for you), generally speaking you must have at least some skills in financial management, human resources, information management, sales, marketing, etc.
If I were to sum it all up, I’d say a good leader has to have a purpose that is larger than she is and the balanced personality and skills to put that purpose into action.

What Makes a Leader?
An effective leader can maximize the potential of any athletic training program. Here’s how to get the most out of your staff while maintaining optimal relations with coaches, administrators, and students.

No comments:

Post a Comment