Month: October 2012

10 Traits of Extraordinary Leaders

Image

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”

 ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Although all leaders are different, the best leaders throughout our history exemplify key characteristics that set them apart making them extraordinary. The below list contains those traits that all extraordinary leaders have in common.

  1. Inspirational: They inspire others through their actions as well as their words often leading by example.
  2. Ethical: They display high moral character and are guided by ethical thought and actions.
  3. Consistent: They stick to the task at hand seeing it through until the end rarely wavering unless absolutely necessary.
  4. Executive Presence: They command attention when they enter a room and often make a great first impression with their communication and presentation skills.
  5. Great Delegators: Leaders who can identify the strengths in others that they lack in themselves and use those talents to their advantage often exceed their peers in performance.
  6. High Aptitude: Ability to recognize key issues and proactively address them prior to it becoming a major crisis.
  7. Adaptability: The ability for leaders to effectively navigate through change when there is no other alternative.
  8. Develops Others: Extraordinary leaders work to develop the talent in others through mentorship and volunteerism.
  9. Delivers on Promises: Great leaders stand by their word and give people the confidence that they will deliver on their message.
  10. Great Listener: Extraordinary leaders are also extraordinary listeners that look to fully understand issues, concerns, challenges prior to engagement.

 

 

 

References

Zenger, J. H., & Folkman, J. (2002). The extraordinary leader: Turning good

        managers into great leaders.  New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Bevelin, P. (2012). A few lessons for investors and managers: From Warren E.

         Buffett. Kansas City, MO: Walsworth Publishing Company

Tierney, M.A. (2012, October 4). Ready, set, lead: Making sure you are positioning yourself

         for leadership. HPGM Conexiones

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological

         Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.     

Executive Presence: Proven Leadership Strategies for Corporate America

 

According to Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, “Really great people make you feel that you too, can become great.” This well-kept secret is the key concept of effective leadership and team management. Bringing the best out of others through inspirational leadership, team building, and effective communication will catapult you to the ranks of history’s greatest leaders.

Invest in your team members and they will in turn invest in your company. Inspirational leadership is inspiring your team members through active engagement by helping them to connect the dots between the work they do and the mission of the organization or company for which you work for. By bridging the gap for employees, you help them understand where they fit in the company and how that company fits into the outside world. Helping employees understand where they fit into the company is only half of the battle. An inspirational leader must also lead by example, exemplifying high character, moral and ethics in both a professional and personal setting.

Teams are often a representative of their manager and building a team in your image is critical to the success of a group. Of course this concept only works when the manager is a positive representative for the team and leads by example. Team building is imperative and gives employees the opportunity to get to know their manager and vice versa. Team building activities should include the entire group and be led by a committee of team members chosen by the manager. The key to the team builder is to get your team involved in the planning and the implementation of the event. Putting individuals into leadership roles among the team through the delegation of activities empowers them and gives them the desire to perform at a higher level. Team builders are not only engaging for team members but it also improves communication among the group.

Effective communication can be summed up in two simple words- active listening. Often times leaders fail to listen to the needs of those that look up to them and as a result their employees eventually tune them out. Listening to the needs of your employees will help you to determine their needs and what motivates them to perform at a high level. The top Fortune 100 companies understand the importance of investing in their leaders and implore training tailored to the vision and values of the organization. The relationship is often reciprocal in that the company that invest in the leader will in turn invest in his staff that benefits the organization and the community in which they service.