5 Must-Have Leadership Qualities
Leaders usually possess 5 great strengths that other persons do not display with the same level of intensity. Most of us try to follow a certain path to become better persons, whatever our occupation. Leaders are the ones who have walked this way a little bit further. Knowing that they will be no end to their quest. They are showing us where to go.
Those strengths are Sense of Purpose. Mindfulness. Integrity. The Power of No. Humility.
Let me explain.
#1 Sense of purpose
Leaders have a clear purpose and a perfect understanding of what needs to be done to accomplish their duties. Some of them knew since their teen age. Others will blossom later. All will work relentlessly to reach their goals. Leaders do not change their mind. They stay on course. They see difficulties as opportunities to test their determination.
The present is what matters most to leaders. They know that no strategy can ever work without mindful execution. Mindful execution requires the ability to be here and now. Regrets and doubts about tomorrow are not part of their mental landscape. Leaders are not prisoners of their past or future. For them, the future has already happened. Leaders help others (customers, employees, shareholders) to get there. Winston Churchill said : “If we open a quarrel between past and present, we shall find that we have lost the future”
Great leaders act with integrity. This concept may sound naive. We know many leaders who have used terrible means to reach their goals. Think about US President Truman using nuclear weapons to end war with Japan. Or Roosevelt partnering with Stalin against Nazi Germany. Most people do not have to make those terrible choices. Today ‘s leaders should not only have a purpose, but also a moral compass. I believe this is becoming more and more true at least in the business world. I see many CEOs now genuinely advocating for protection of nature, diversity, human rights everywhere. Those acts are not PR anymore, but reflect the deep convictions of the present generations of the women and men in charge.
#4 The Power of “NO”
Leaders know how and when to say no. No to projects that may derail them from their path. To ensure their corporation will stay on course. Most of the time, they will also say no to themselves. Refraining from too many distractions. Refraining from giving up when everything seems against you. Walking that extra mile which can make the difference between success and failure.
Many great leaders emerged because they said no at a time everyone wanted to yield to apparently superior market or military forces. In a famous quote, Winston Churchill compared true leaders to a kite. For him, “Kites rise highest against the wind – not with it”
Leaders recognize that absolute control is an illusion. There are too many factors which remain out of reach of any individual. Leaders know their own success relies upon the performance of their teams. Their pride is not based upon their own accomplishments, but of those of the people they lead. We know humility is rarely an innate thing. For leaders, it is a logical conclusion and a very useful safeguard against the illusions we have about our own powers.