Traits of Leadership
December 6, 2012 1 Comment
One of the activities I volunteer for helps with young people learn real world tools and leadership. This is all done under the guise of having fun and organizational structure, but is much more intentional than that. It is a quality that so many need and, in many instances, do not possess.
Just because a person is in a position of leadership, does not necessarily mean they have it. I have had managers in the past who were leaders by title. However, when it came to it, they did not have the actual qualities of leadership.
So what are the qualities of a true leader?
If you Google “traits of a good leader”, you will find nearly 3 million articles that can be found on sites like CNN, Forbes, YouTube, LinkedIn, as well as sites none of us ever heard of. Each of the articles or videos likely have their own unique (and valid) points,. I don’t think there is a magic forumula for what a good leader is. However, I do think it comes down to an appropriate and evolving balance of all of the following.
- Integrity: If a leader does not have this, then nothing else matters. And most people will realize sooner rather than later that an individual does not have this. I really like the Oprah Winfrey “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”
- Skills/Intelligence: In order to lead, you need to have the skills, knowledge, and intelligence to lead in the particular setting the leader is in. If it is in business, they need to know about the industry they are in. If the leader is in a community based or civic organization, then knowing and having the skill set on how to navigate that environment is important.
- Empowerment: Bosses are likely doers, not only by nature, but by necessity. That is what they get paid to do. Leaders are the same way. However, leaders know when to give up control and give power to those under them. Also, leaders provide information to let those they are leading so they know the direction of the group.
- Inspiring: Have you ever met a leader who was not? Think of past presidents who you would consider good leaders. JFK and Ronald Reagan were inspiring not only in their words, but their actions.
- Imaginative: A leader needs to be creative and have that “out of the box” thinking. Not that everything that they do has to be like that. However, they have the ability to be imaginative, when needed and appropriate.
- Courageous: Sometimes making a decision to do something is hard to do. It is a risk. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are making decisions for the success of their business.
Let me know what you think are the traits of a leader?
–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.