Leadership is a word used a lot, but very often misunderstood. In this article and the next, we are going to learn to understand the 10 attributes of a true leader. This month we will share what the 10 attributes are, and then expand on them individually through the coming months. So what are the 10 attributes of a true leader? Using the acronym LEADERSHIP, we can start to understand them all:
L – Learn and Grow – Leaders are always learning, and always developing themselves. As the saying rightfully goes “Leaders are Readers”
E – Engage – A true leader is always engaging with his staff, his customers and his organization. How engaged are you in these three things as a leader?
A – Accept Full Responsibility – As Buckminster Fuller, the great leader once stated, “The buck stops here”. Are you the kind of leader who takes responsibility for the failures in your organization as much as you take responsibility for the successes?
D – Decision Making – Are you able to make quick, powerful decisions as a leader? As Napoleon Hill states in his book, “Think and grow rich”, “A successful leader has the ability to make decisions quickly, and to change them, if ever, very slowly. A poor leader takes a long time to make a decision, and then changes their mind frequently”. Which one are you?
E – Expresses Expectations – A great leader will always let their people know exactly what they expect of them, and then be able to express their expectations in a way that their people are inspired. Are you able to do this?
R – Respect – A leader understands that respect is not given but rather earned. They know how to earn the respect of their people, and in return they are able to garner the respect from their people.
S – Show the Way – a great leader leads through example. They never expect their people to do something they are not willing to do themselves. They show the way and inspire others to follow.
H – Hold the Vision – A true leader is the captain of their ship. They know and hold the vision for the organization through rough and stormy weather, and keep everyone around them calm.
I – Integrity – The greatest leaders throughout the eras – and in our present times – all have one thing in common: They all have a high degree of integrity. People trust and happily follow leaders who have this quality. With this one quality all things become possible for an organization and for a leader.
P – Praise and Recognition – A leader recognizes their most valuable asset – their people. Not only do they recognize their people, but they also give praise when it is warranted, and give constructive criticism when their people have made a mistake.
So go through the list of attributes above, and measure yourself. In how many areas are you as a leader falling short? Which areas are you strong in? In the next addition we will expand on the 10 attributes.
– Stanley Beckett
Lead Product Designer and Trainer,