“One of the best ways to persuade other is with your ears” – Dean Rusk
Qualities really do make a difference especially if they are value driven. Here are five qualities that I have observed in successful leaders in my recent experience. While I could lengthen the list with five more, these are five that if you embrace them will make your leadership journey more successful.
All leaders have a vision, mission and are guided by core values. Their vision reminds them where they want to go or what they want to achieve in the long term. It states what they stand for. Their mission statement is their blueprint of how they will get there. Perhaps most important their core values provide the framework for how they behave or perform on their way to fulfilling their vision.
Second, is to be a big and bold thinker. Great leaders tend to see things on a bigger stage than the rest of us. They are curious and have what Cavett Roberts once called “Divine Discontent.” Their thinking causes them to challenge tradition, embrace idealism, and use their skills to tap the potential of their followers. They are comfortable in “their own skin” and that confidence fortifies them to create the big picture for those who follow them.
Third, they are what Rosabeth Moss Kanter calls “Change Masters.” Because of this quality they are known to others as “prime movers.” They are willing to be first. They can create change because they know how to accept it, handle it and perhaps most important how to thrive on it and succeed in times of change. They know and openly accept the fact that change is constant and inevitable.
Fourth, they are “Risk takers.” The ability to risk often takes them to places long before others who are cautious and want assured results and safer outcomes. They subscribe to the old adage “the early bird catches the worm” and really do enjoy the meal. They embrace what they learn from mistakes and failures and grow while not expecting perfection.
Finally, above other things they are ethical. As Albert Schweitzer said, “Ethics is the maintaining of life at the highest point of development.” The ethical leader has clarity on the definition of their ethics and is very steadfast in how they uphold them. Their strength of convictions are immoveable and that along with the fact that they value and respect their followers makes it clear they can always be counted upon. You know where you stand with the ethical leader. If you don’t, just ask and they will clearly tell you.
“Nothing resists a human will that stakes even its very existence upon the achievement of its purpose.” – Benjamin Disraeli