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.