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The Top 5 Leadership Qualities

November 8, 2010

The success or failure of a business or team is very dependent on the leader.

How not to lead

I think the leader above should read tip number 2

What, therefore, are the most important leadership qualities leaders should be aware of if they want their team or organisation to succeed? Here are our suggestions for the top five:

1. Self-Leadership
To be effective leaders of others, we must first be effective leaders of ourselves.  The following five traits play a key role in this:

■ Commitment
■ Humility
■ Accountability
■ Motivation (not procrastination)
■ Preparation

2. Throw out The “Golden” Rule to lead with “Platinum”
Most of us are taught that there is a “golden rule” that should govern our behaviour, and grow up hearing the maxim “do unto others as you would have done unto you”.

But there is a higher directive organisational leaders should follow and that is the platinum rule, which states, “do unto others as they would like to be done unto.”

3. Create & Articulate an inspiring vision
Imagine it’s the first day of training camp for your favorite professional sports team. In every situation I would almost guarantee that the ‘vision’ everyone at the training camp is focused on, from the owner of the team to the changing room, is to get to the “Championship Final”.

What is your organisation’s “Championship Final”? How would your articulate it to yourself and communicate it to your team members in a way that inspires contribution to the effort?

4. Address issues promptly, directly and respectfully
I would argue there is nothing more de-motivating and de-moralizing in an organisation than witnessing issues not being addressed promptly and directly. It gives off an aura of apathy at the highest levels.

Organisational leaders who complain about apathy from their team members need only look to themselves and their team leaders to see how they are ‘walking their talk’ when it comes to addressing issues. Too many organisational leaders lead with an ‘avoid and tolerate’ strategy.

5. Ability to make decisions and take action despite uncertainty
Nothing is certain in life except change and death. Those two things can paralyse even the strongest wills sometimes. But, great leaders know that even not making a decision is “making a decision not to make one.”

Great leaders know they can never be 100% certain what the right course of action is until a decision is made to move forward.  At this point feedback from those individuals and areas affected will suggest adjustments or a new course of action.

Nurture these 5 leadership qualities and you will be on your way to having a high-performing organisation.


This blog is writen by guest blog writer Skip Weisman.

Skip Weisman is President of Weisman Success Resources and author of the white paper “The 7 Deadliest Sins of Organisational Leadership Communication”. Visit his website at www.weismansuccessresources.com for more information or download the white paper at www.HowToImproveOrganizationalLeadershipCommunication.com.

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