Friday, October 19, 2012

Attributes of Great Leadership: What it Takes to Be an Exceptional Executive or Administrator by Michael Josephson

Attributes of Great Leadership: What it Takes to Be an Exceptional Executive or Administrator by Michael Josephson

Let's start with some key definitions:

A leader is anyone who uses authority, reason, fear, inspiration, charisma or personal example to influence the behavior or beliefs of others.

Effective leaders formulate their objectives and influence others to achieve them. Put another way, leadership is the ability to get others to want to do what the leader wants done.

Though we might despise their motives and methods, Attila the Hun, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong and Adolf Hitler were exceptionally effective leaders, but so were George Washington, Susan B. Anthony, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Cesar Chavez. The first group may have been good leaders but they were bad people because they were cruel and ruthless while the second group were, by most accounts both good leaders and good people.

The difference is found in values and character.

Great leaders, the kind we praise, admire, and want more of are principled.

Click here to see the 8 critical attributes of great leaders:

  1. Great leaders are principled; they are not merely effective, they are ethical. They adhere to moral principles in forming their objectives and using the methods of influence. They engender trust and credibility because of their integrity and loyalty and because they care about their followers and treat them with respect.
  2. Great leaders earn, exude and instill confidence without being arrogant. They also empower their followers with confidence and pride.
  3. Great leaders are both idealistic and realistic. They have great goals. They seek to close the gap between what is and what can be but they have no illusions that success is either certain or simple. They consider the past and evaluate the present so they can create the future.
  4. Great leaders are teachers not tyrants. They help their followers see and understand more. The inspire them to become more and motivate them to do more.
  5. Great leaders are lifetime learners. They turn every success, setback and failure into a lesson that will guide them in the future.
  6. Great leaders don't repress or replace the values of their followers; they respect them and they enhance and energize those values focusing them toward the leader's vision.
  7. Great leaders have an unusual bone structure. They have strong back bones and well-developed wish bones and funny bones.
  8. Great leaders derive no pleasure from asserting their power and they use their authority sparingly. They rely more on inspiration and persuasion than coercion, but they are not hesitant to use their power when necessary to assure that everyone is doing what needs to be done.

Also see my list of the Best Quotes Ever on Leadership at

Tagged as: leadership attributes

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