The Attributes of a Leader
You may agree with the attributes/character traits presented below or disagree with them…either way, give them some thought. Create your own list…a list you can live and lead by.
These qualities can be broken down into components and they can be combined to create a longer list of the attributes of leadership.
Here are some classic thoughts on this topic…
From ‘Think and Grow Rich‘, Napoleon Hill’s 1937 classic:
- UNWAVERING COURAGE.
Based upon knowledge of self, and of one’s occupation. No follower wishes to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence and courage. No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader very long. [some thoughts on Courage]
The man who cannot control himself, can never control others. Self-control sets a mighty example for one’s followers, which the more intelligent will emulate. [some thoughts on self-control]
- A KEEN SENSE OF JUSTICE.
Without a sense of fairness and justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of his followers. [some thoughts on keen sense of justice]
- DEFINITENESS OF DECISION.
The man who wavers in his decisions, shows that he is not sure of himself. He cannot lead others successfully. [some thoughts on definiteness of decision]
- DEFINITENESS OF PLANS.
The successful leader must plan his work, and work his plan. A leader who moves by guesswork, without practical, definite plans, is comparable to a ship without a rudder. Sooner or later he will land on the rocks. [some thoughts on definiteness of plans]
- THE HABIT OF DOING MORE THAN PAID FOR.
One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of the leader, to do more than he requires of his followers. [some thoughts on doing more than paid for]
- A PLEASING PERSONALITY.
No slovenly, careless person can become a successful leader. Leadership calls for respect. Followers will not respect a leader who does not grade high on all of the factors of a Pleasing Personality. [some thoughts on pleasing personality]
- SYMPATHY AND UNDERSTANDING.
The successful leader must be in sympathy with his followers. Moreover, he must understand them and their problems. [some thoughts on empathy and understanding]
- MASTERY OF DETAIL.
Successful leadership calls for mastery of details of the leader’s position. [some thoughts on mastery of detail]
- WILLINGNESS TO ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY.
The successful leader must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistakes and the shortcomings of his followers. If he tries to shift this responsibility, he will not remain the leader. If one of his followers makes a mistake, and shows himself incompetent, the leader must consider that it is he who failed. [some thoughts on responsibility]
- 11. COOPERATION.
The successful leader must understand, and apply the principle of cooperative effort and be able to induce his followers to do the same. Leadership calls for POWER, and power calls for COOPERATION. [some thoughts on cooperation and harmony]
- SYMPATHY AND UNDERSTANDING.
From Wess Roberts’ ‘Leadership Secrets of Attila The Hun‘ (1985/2009 audio)
- Emotional Stamina
- Physical Stamina
- Sense of Timing