I’ve made possibly every mistake a leader can make, which highly qualifies me to share some wisdom on leadership. A couple years ago, I was asked to mentor and share with a group of young managers what it takes to be a leader. I shared the following list of attributes, and while this list certainly doesn’t cover everything, it’s based upon good experience. These attributes are what I’ve seen the most renown leaders use, and they’re what I’ve followed and found to be true.
12 Attributes of Great Leaders
Leaders Share Vision and Provide Direction – If you’ve worked with a manager that lacked vision, you understand how disheartening it can be. Developing and sharing a vision attracts loyal followers. Giving direction adds purpose to activities.
Leaders Show Character and Integrity – I worked for a leader who I often disagreed with, but never doubted his sincerity or his honesty. You could depend on any commitment he gave. In an industry with high turnover, he had productive teammates that worked with him for years.
Leaders Plan For Growth – Nothing is stagnant–your organization is either declining or gaining. If you do not plan for growth, who will grow with you?
Leaders Take Responsibility – They do not pass the buck by pointing fingers. A leader does not defend mistakes.
Leaders Make Decisions – Remember, you do not always have to be right. Learn from your mistakes.
Leaders Set the Example – If you want the team to show determination, enthusiasm, decisiveness, attentiveness etc.–it starts with you.
Leaders Know Their Team – They take time to learn how team members communicate, learn, and what motivates them. Leaders understand their team’s strengths and weaknesses. Leaders know their people’s goals and hopes.
Leaders Mentor, Train, Allow for Failure, Delegate, and Listen
Leaders Give Recognition At Every Possible Opportunity
Leaders Share Information and Keep Teammates Informed
Leaders Constantly Strive to Self-Improve
Leaders Set High Standards and Raise The Bar
There are so many great leaders to learn from. Here are three who have influenced me: