I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. I count him as an excellent leader. Inevitably, every time we get together, the conversation turns to our views on leadership at some point.
He shared with me an interesting perspective. He said as he reflects on excellent leaders he has had throughout his career; they all share three qualities. These qualities seem to be a recipe for leading successfully. Leading successfully is all about influencing a team to effectively and efficiently achieve objectives, while in the process making the people around you better for the experience.
The three qualities he identified were attitude, work ethic, and personality. Upon giving what he said some thought I have tweaked these three qualities a bit. I believe there are four qualities necessary to make a person a successful leader. They are attitude, work ethic, relationship building, and character.
A leader must have an optimistic attitude and one that is filled with positive energy. Optimism is not about thinking everything is great all the time. Sometimes significant challenges and setbacks come our way. By being optimistic, I mean that a leader must believe tomorrow is going to be better than today. A leader must provide hope for the future.
Get to Work
A good work ethic is important. To achieve anything worthwhile, one must be prepared to hustle and work hard. To a lazy person a week has seven tomorrows. To a hustler a week has seven todays.
Some experts have said that relationship building is the new currency. Success depends on the relationships we develop. The world runs on teamwork and the ability to collaborate. Even someone running a company in which they are the only employee must build relationships with others to be successful. A good leader must develop relationships with those they lead, those they follow, and the many other stakeholders they have around them.
Having highly developed emotional intelligence and communication skills are both key to developing relationships. The DISC assessment is a great tool to gain an understanding of one’s behavior and communications tendencies. The EIQ-2 assessment will assist one to gain insight into their strengths and weakness regarding emotional intelligence. You can learn more about each assessment at this link, or contact me directly at John@JohnGronski.com to learn more.
Character is Foundational
Character is foundational to leadership. Integrity and personal courage are essential, and leaders must make decisions in accordance with these values in order to develop a trustworthy reputation. If you cannot be trusted you cannot lead effectively, especially when your organization hits challenging times.
It All Adds Up
So, think of successful leadership as attitude plus three. Attitude + work ethic + relationship building + character = good leadership.