Ten Qualities Of A Great Leader - Plus 1

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Great Leaders are optimists first and foremost. Their tendency is to interact according to Henry Ford's observation, "whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right." Because the buck must stop somewhere and because the dynamic of authority dictates that all delegated authorities are themselves subject to authority, they understand that being a leader is far more than a title. The ten qualities listed herein are based on these assumptions and are just the beginning of developing the character of a great leader. Here's to a great beginning!

1. Great Leaders are mission inclined and ensure the survival of the vision. By making certain that the principles of that vision are daily implemented, the Great Leader indicates a firm grasp of the mission and visions of the organization and is in agreement with them, making a conscious choice to submit to and support them.

2. Great Leaders are providers, oriented to whatever the individual or team cannot supply for itself. The leader is often called to provide for needs the group is virtually unaware of. It becomes the role of the leader to first identify the need, and then to provide a means of fulfillment.

3. Great Leaders are motivated by the welfare of the team. The motive is never self-promotion, self-aggrandizement. The great leader self-checks frequently. The welfare of the team will always be in line with the greater mission, if integrity is at the base.

4. Great Leaders are always ready to provide the tools necessary for achieving the goals of the team. Individual and team achievement furthers the purpose of the organizational mission. Great Leaders must assess the needs and provide the tools, as well as the instruction necessary to attain and maintain optimum productivity.

5. Great Leaders have great integrity (wholeness, soundness) and assume the role of keeper of ethics. Leaders must articulate the ethical expectations necessary to maintain the wholeness and soundness of the team, as well as the individual members. The two are inseparable.

6. Great Leaders are consistently teachable. Information flows from the top. Zest for information and knowledge will do the same. An eager to learn leader will generate followers enthusiastic about the process as well.

7. Great Leaders are always willing to step aside rather than compromise the team. We have established that the Great Leader is motivated by the welfare of the team rather than his or her own agenda, and as a result, will step aside if necessary to insure it. The same is true of the Great Leader's dedication to team unity and productivity. The leader will never play one member against another as a tactic, realizing that unity of purpose, when grounded in the integrity of the vision, will always lead to increased productivity and progress.

8. Great Leaders do not take control, but accept surrendered control. Seized control will ultimately end in rebellion and insurrection. Conversely, cooperation always follows surrendered control, the voluntary submission to authority. (Note: sub=under, and mission=vision, i.e., a voluntary stepping under, in a supporting capacity, to the mission of the team, the reason for its continued existence.)

9. Great Leaders understand the awesome responsibility of guiding human beings. At any level - - in any organization - - for any reason - - without reservation

10. Great Leaders understand the difference between passion for excellence and passion for power. Passion for excellence is fervor and zeal for fineness and quality. Passion for power is lust and greed for control, at any cost. These two highlight the enormous variance between Authority and Power.

Plus One...

Great Leaders always lead by example. The Great Leader is always willing, at any point, to walk out in front of the group. The Great Leader is never merely an observer. All other qualities will flow naturally from this characteristic at the very heart of Great Leadership.

Copyright 2005 So-lu'shunz Management Services

Karin Syren is a certified coach specializing in EffectivenessCoaching. She has over 25 years business experience and has played key roles in independent creative enterprises, non-profit and Fortune 500 companies. Karin has helped leaders at all levels to increase their effectiveness through increased awareness. Visit her website at to arrange for your complementary EffectivenessCoaching consultation.

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