We all know what a bad leader can do to an organization here in Indiana. We have all witnessed managers who have done the obvious; they never have read a Dale Carnegie classic or attended a leadership or sales’ class. And it shows.
We can quickly list all of their undesirable traits. These individuals are memorable because they have exhibited bouts of detachment, arrogance, authoritarianism, quick or short tempered reactions, and boring behavior. For many of us this is a fun list to read about and it might even be therapeutic.
We want you to shift mental gears for a minute or two and think about what we might consider desirable leadership behavior. What are some of the desirable traits that leaders must have to move organizations forward as we head deeply into 2013?
We all might nod our heads up and down as we glance over this list below. If we could possibly build a desirable leader prototype, here are nine possible important traits:
- The skill to understand everyone as individuals: This is a key foundation. Accepting and dealing with others, regardless of temperament and personality, brings consistency to leading.
- Assertiveness: Being positive and certain with both goals and objectives just makes sense in this still sluggish economy.
- Decisiveness in every situation: Firm and focused decisions that involve everyone simply make the team and the business better.
- Sense of humor: Although not everyone can be the Robin Williams or the Lily Tomlin of the corner office, every leader must look at the positive aspects of work with a huge grain of salt. It starts with a simple smile and ends with a handshake.
- Short term memory: We almost forgot; remembering only the good things and not all things makes relationships better, especially in the intense climate of many organizations.
- The ability to understand the business they lead: Managers who come in from the “outside” must know the new company they are leading. Taking a couple of weeks walking the floor and understanding the history of the business and the current situation makes the leader better.
- Thick skin: The ability to never get rattled is a unique trait of both managers and leaders. As the old commercial once suggested, never let them see you sweat. Everyone will follow this type of leader.
- The talent to be inspirational: Is it talent or are you born inspirational? The engagement and the message bring inspiration and hope to both employees and the teams.
- The capability to be the “go to” person: A good leader must handle everything and anything that hits the desk; good, bad and ugly. “The buck stopping here” makes for a stronger organization.
Thankfully, here in Indiana, good leaders greatly outnumber the bad ones. As we grow into 2013, it is critical we all follow the good leader as we grow our careers and our businesses.
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