Great leaders find balance between business foresight, performance and character. They have vision, courage, integrity, humility and focus along with the ability to plan strategically and catalyze cooperation amongst their team.
Vision Great leaders have vision. They can see into the future. They have a clear, exciting idea of where they are going and what they are trying to accomplish and are excellent at strategic planning. This quality of vision changes a “transactional manager” into a “transformational leader.”
Courage Having the quality of courage means that you are willing to take risks in the achievement of your goals with no assurance of success. Because there is no certainty in life or business, every commitment you make and every action you take entails a risk of some kind. Among leadership qualities, courage is the most identifiable outward trait.
Integrity In every strategic planning session that I have conducted for large and small corporations, the first value that all the gathered executives agree upon for their company is integrity. They all agree on the importance of complete honesty in everything they do, both internally and externally. The core of integrity is truthfulness
Humility Great leaders are those who are strong and decisive but also humble. Humility doesn’t mean that you’re weak or unsure of yourself. It means that you have the self-confidence and self-awareness to recognize the value of others without feeling threatened. This is one of the rarer attributes or traits of good leaders because it requires containment of one’s ego. It means that you are willing to admit you could be wrong, that you recognize you may not have all the answers. And it means that you give credit where credit is due which many people struggle to do.
Strategic Planning Great leaders are outstanding at strategic planning. It’s another one of the more important leadership strengths. They have the ability to look ahead, to anticipate with some accuracy where the industry and the markets are going. Because of increasing competitiveness, only the leaders and organizations that can accurately anticipate future markets can possibly survive.
Focus Leaders focus on results, on what must be achieved by themselves, by others, and by the company. Great leaders focus on strengths, in themselves and in others. They focus on the strengths of the organization, on the things that the company does best in satisfying demanding customers in a competitive marketplace.
Cooperation Your ability to get everyone working and pulling together is essential to your success. Leadership is the ability to get people to work for you because they want to. The 80/20 rule applies here. Twenty percent of your people contribute 80 percent of your results. Your ability to select these people and then to work well with them on a daily basis is essential to the smooth functioning of the organization.
By Brian Tracy