Earlier this week I set out to share the characteristics that I’ve observed in great leaders throughout my career. If you missed it, here is a link to read Part 1. I strongly believe that by adopting one of these traits into your life each week that you will begin to see a change in yourself and those around you. Leaders that possess these traits truly have what it takes to change the world.
- Leaders Treat Everyone With Respect. They understand that their behavior is always being watched and evaluated. Leaders treat everyone with respect, no matter who they are or what they can or can’t do for them.
- Leaders Make Thoughtful Decisions and Then Act Swiftly. Leaders understand that respect is earned when they can and will act on tough issues.
- Leaders Engage Those Around Them. Leaders have the ability and skills to walk into a room full of strangers and put them at ease while engaging in meaningful conversations.
- Leaders Work Backwards. There is no better way to ensure a successful tomorrow then to end today with a strong detailed, tightly scheduled plan for the future. Leader’s plans reflect their conscious efforts for both their business and personal lives.
- Leaders Are Life-Long Learners. A broad spectrum of knowledge is critical to a leader’s success. Leaders read books, articles and newsletters; anything they can get their hands on.
- Leaders Are Fanatics About Handwritten Notes. Handwritten notes are a hallmark of the traits of leaders, whether the note is to say thank you, just catch up, to pass on an article they believe you might enjoy or even the name of a great new restaurant. Whatever the reason, handwritten notes say, “You are important to me and I appreciate you.”
- Leaders Recharge Their Batteries. Vacation, physical fitness and strong personal relationships are critical to a leader’s ability to be a high performer.
- Leaders Trust The People Around Them. Leaders understand that there are many occasions when they are taken advantage of, but in the grand scheme of things, they find that most of the time people will outperform expectations.
- Leaders Have Model Behavior. Leaders do not put themselves in a position where others could question their behavior or motives. A good rule of thumb: leaders do nothing that their mother would be embarrassed to discuss with her friends from church.
I hope these leadership lessons will have a positive impact in your life. I have no doubt that if you put a couple of them into practice you will be on your way to greatness.
With that being said, I’d love to hear about other leadership traits that you rely on or have witnessed in great leaders. Will you share your leadership characteristics in the comments section?