Sunday, November 28, 2010

What Makes Excellent Leaders?

What Makes Excellent Leaders?

A study by Caliper, the global psychometric profiling company identified the following seven key leadership traits:

 Best leaders are still the ones who know when-and how-to get tough. They know how to assert their authority.
Ego drive is the desire to persuade. Moreover, if you did not like to persuade people-if you were not thrilled with getting the "yes"-you would not be in sales in the first place.  RESILIENCE
When a leader loses a battle, he has to have the ego strength that allows him to maintain his optimism and move on.
In a competitive marketplace; the winners are often those leaders who are willing to try, dare, even make fools of themselves.
Hand in hand with being a risk-taker is being innovative. Great leaders know that the "old ways" of doing things are not always the best ways-especially in a rapidly changing marketplace.
In a customer-driven marketplace, the need to get things done now is critical to winning and keeping business.
Leaders are tough, driven, daring. However, they also have a heart. They possess as much compassion as they do competitive fire.

What do we make of this? What are the characteristics of a Leader?

Insight on oneself

The first characteristic that leaders must possess is an innate sense of self-awareness. Without being aware of themselves and the way in which they interact with others, individuals will see their progress hampered. Individuals must first appreciate their position and recognize their own unique contribution in order that they might appreciate the value that others can add. There is no one right way and a good leader will let people follow their own path rather than dictating things to them, providing they achieve desired results and adhere to core values/principles.

This balance between adaptability and consistency is essential to get the respect of employees. People will respond much more positively to persons that engender respect and as such, it is essential that leaders know what they stand for and are prepared to do what is needed to make it happen.

Knowing how to influence others

Influencing skills are paramount for leaders and create an atmosphere in which people feel they are treated as peers rather than subordinates. The individual's ability to influence the behavior of others is closely linked to their ability to display the behavior that they demand from others. Someone that does not like challenge is unlikely to create an environment in which people are free to question one another.

This is particularly important because it can have a direct impact on morale.  
Leaders must learn to deal with potentially difficult conversations effectively to demonstrate that they are able to take leadership on issues in order to resolve them.

Focusing on results

The most important consideration for any business is the results that it is able to achieve.  In order to achieve  this potential, people must be prepared to meet challenges and opportunities head-on.

An employee that feels valued is an employee that will work harder. In order that staff feels valued, they must be aware that their strengths are acknowledged, valued and developed. They must also be aware that their weaknesses are addressed rather than being swept under the carpet.

The Three 'Cs' of Leadership Training


It is so important to keep your team informed. Lack of or having no information or poor information has been cited as one on the biggest workplace de-motivators, with so-called ‘leaders’ thinking that their employees ‘can’t handle the truth’. The greatest leaders through history were great communicators.


All through history, the great leaders had a great deal of charisma. Their followers could relate to them on different levels. Their energy infected their followers. This is not to say that to be charismatic you have to bind about all day. It means that you must seek to inspire your team as much as possible. Keep your focus on the goals of the team and display endless amounts of energy.


 A leader must have a vision to share with others and the conviction of character to drive it through to its conclusion. The world is full of strong starters.  The ones who see something through, to the end, are the ones that count.

When do you become a Leader?

You become a leader when you set a goal, make a plan, and then throw your whole heart into making it a reality. You become a leader when you develop an inspiring vision for yourself and others. You become a leader when you know exactly where you want to go, why you want to get there, and what you have to do to achieve your vision.

Cristina Falcão

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