Great Ideas: Ten traits of great leaders

Written by ProfitGuide

Leaders attract people to follow them. They have perfected the art of getting others to want to do things. In his book, The Leader’s Tool Kit: Hundreds of tips and techniques for developing the skills you need, Cy Charney defines 10 traits that separate great leaders from their peers.

  1. The ability to create a compelling vision. Leaders focus on the future. They have a clear picture of what they want the organization to become. They are excited about the future and don’t waste time dealing with the past.
  2. The ability to articulate their vision to others. Leaders have an ability to describe that future state in words and feelings that captivate and galvanize those around them. They constantly share their views of the world with those who look to them for guidance.
  3. Consistency. Great leaders don’t change with the wind. They are flexible and open to new ideas, but they tend to be constant in their beliefs and values. Once they have articulated their visions, they keep on track without getting distracted by competing temptations.
  4. Humility. High achivers have justifiable pride in their accomplishments. Leaders are human — they make mistakes. But they are not afraid to admit it when they go wrong.
  5. Focus. Leaders focus on key results. They are not distracted by trivia. Whatever they do, they complete it with excellence.
  6. Tenacity. Leaders anticipate problems and work diligently until they overcome obstacles.
  7. Holistic thinking. Leaders can see the big picture as well as the interrelationships among the parts.
  8. Strategic thinking. Leaders have an eye on the future. They spend little time thinking about the “good old days.” They have a clear sense of what they should do to anticipate and meet future challenges.
  9. Agile minds. Leaders learn quickly. They observe everything around them and ask lots of questions so that they can become more proficient in their knowledge and skills.
  10. An aversion to tyranny. Leaders are fair-minded and avoid taking abusive advantage of people and situations.

© 2005 Rogers Media Inc.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com