Attributes of A Leader

In our discussions today, Don shared with me a list of attributes of strong leaders.  Attribute is defined as:

1: an inherent characteristic; also : an accidental quality

2: an object closely associated with or belonging to a specific person, thing, or office ; especially : such an object used for identification in painting or sculpture

3: a word ascribing a quality; especially : adjective

For some of these it may be true that they are inherent characteristics, to others a quality perhaps natural, perhaps learned.  If you are a life long learner it may be that you are on a journey of self awareness. 
Attitudes:  the ability to control attitude is self-generated.  When we control our attitude we have the ability to control many other things – “life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it”.  Most importantly is that “consistent negative attitude doesn’t belong with leadership.”
Read that last line again – a negative attitude is not only self-destructive, it destroys those around you.  A negative team member will create a negative team.

Barn raising – team effort
Work in the grey zone: It is a myth that leaders work primarily in a stable, orderly, clear-cut organization.  In fact chaos is the friend of creativity.  Leaders must work in the shades of grey – not black in white and have a high tolerance of ambiguity.
Resiliant: Able to sense fear and not be paralyzed by it.  When knocked down – able to get back on your feet.  Be brave enough to fail.
Lateral thinker: Able to think outside the box…and then act by breaking new ground leaving a trail for others.  The ability to challenge the process in a reasonable manner.  The leader must have a vision of possibilities and be brave enough to fail.
Live the values: This really seems like the critical piece for me…authenticity is how I might put it.  Here’s Don’s take; position gives you authority, behaviour earns you respect.  We are all unequal but everybody is equally important.  So does your (my) behaviour support your (my) values?  And of course – unity does not depend upon agreement – healthy disagreement is important.
In the next blog I’ll continue the list from our dialogue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s