Top 11 Leadership Traits (Be A FUEL SOURCE)

Once upon a time…it was believed that great leaders had to be charismatic, strong, tall, attractive, fearless and in control.

But then we woke up. True leaders are A FUEL SOURCE.

Whether our wake up call came from massive failures in leadership, demands from a younger workforce, accumulations of research, or otherwise, it has become increasingly clear that great leaders come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Ironically, those who used to fit the stereotype of a great leader are now struggling. The command and control style isn’t working anymore, even in the military.  An over reliance on authority, hierarchy and forcefulness is now backfiring.  These leaders have hit a wall, while “true” leaders–who garner respect, credibility and trust–are shining.

Of course, there’s no one “right” way to lead people, but there are lots o’ wrong ways…

And when it comes to leader character and traits, I’ve identified eleven that appear to differentiate the extraordinary from the average and good.

Essentially, extraordinary leaders are a fuel source.  And these eleven attributes also create the acronym, A FUEL SOURCE.

Extraordinary leaders are…

Authentic
They know who they are, and share themselves with others.
They are transparent and open, with nothing to hide.
They know their strengths and leverage them.
They know their limitations, and find ways around them.
They know themselves, their Purpose and mission in life.

Future-oriented
They don’t just have a vision, they’re constantly envisioning.
They are future-oriented, but find balance with near-term practicality.
They are fueled by their vision, and inspire others through that vision.
They help others connect their own vision of the future with a shared vision.
They recognize misalignments that are taking people off track, and they realign with the vision.

Unselfish
They show remarkable humility.
They don’t let their ego, no matter how big, get in the way.
They give away credit for successes to others–their team.
They take the responsibility and blame for failures.
They often care as much or more about others than themselves.
They believe in abundance; they’re “bakers, not eaters.”

Energized
They are energized by ideas, and energize others.
They are inspired by opportunities, and inspire others.
They are fueled by their passions and Purpose in life.
They channel their energy into almost everything they do.
They find a way to charge and recharge their battery.

Lucid
They are clear and focused in what they say.
They think clearly, and clarify things for others.
They keep things simple enough, but don’t oversimplify.
They are clear headed, and manage emotions well.
They see through the smoke and mirrors.

Smart
They are fast learners–and brilliant. But they don’t flaunt it.
They know what’s going on, at multiple levels in many domains.
They ask great questions and get to the heart of the matter.
They show an “attitude of wisdom,” being decisive, yet skeptical of their own convictions.
They show remarkable social and emotional intelligence, working well with a variety of people.

Optimistic
They show a bias for the upside, and steer away from cold hard realism (and pessimism).
They find the good in a bad situation.
They see opportunities and abundance where others see dead ends and scarcity.
They show excitement about what could be, and enjoy what-ifs.
They believe the glass is half-full, and will soon be full.

Understanding
They recognize others’ limitations, and show understanding.
They encourage smart risk-taking, and are understanding when failures occur.
They appreciate hard work and creative efforts, in addition to results.
They forgive others for mistakes, and then focus on moving forward.
They hold others accountable, even while being understanding.

Resilient
They bounce back quickly.
They show persistence and endurance in the face of tough odds.
They manage negative emotions by reappraising and relabeling events.
They are steadfast, yet know when to cut losses or start over.
They appreciate that failure is an important part of growth and learning.
They see challenges as great opportunities to overcome.

Courageous
They confront untruths, no matter how unpleasant.
They know what they stand for, and they take a stand.
They confront brutal realities.
They give critical feedback, and have the necessary but uncomfortable conversations.
They awaken “sleeping dogs” and call out “elephants in the room” because they know it’s right.
Move forward in spite of uncertainties and ambiguity.

Entrepreneurial
They help others generate creative solutions.
They look for problems to solve, and monetize solutions.
They appreciate financial strategies to create profitable ventures.
They support others in their ambitions to seize new opportunities.
They appreciate what makes customers, and potential customers, happy.
They enjoy staying informed about new technologies and trends.

 

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About Curt Buermeyer

I am the founder and president of LeadPeople. I hope you enjoyed this post and encourage you to subscribe to receive these in your inbox. Thanks for visiting!

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