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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Must-haves for successful leaders

Without exception, there are three traits that every leader must have in order to be successful. You can attempt to lead without them, but at least one of four things will eventually happen if you do: You will be so miserable that you will burnout, your team will fail in completing their work, your team members will leave, or your team will lose respect for you.

Desire to lead

So what are these three required traits? First is the desire to lead. Without it, you will never be comfortable in the leader role. You will struggle every day with the basics, and your team members will sense it in everything you do. If you don’t burn out first, you’ll find that work suffers and your team is frustrated because they can’t do their work without you doing yours. They may eventually leave – if you don’t first.

There are a number of characteristics and feelings that can help you determine your level of desire to lead. These include, among others, I enjoy it when others seek my ideas or opinions, I don’t mind asking team members challenging questions when working on a project, I like playing the role of coach to help others improve their skills, or when the team has a problem, I consider it my problem too.

Commitment to the mission and vision of the organization

The second trait of successful leaders is commitment to the mission and vision of the organization where they work. Imagine trying to convince others to give their best in order to accomplish something they don’t believe in. That’s difficult. But trying to convert them to believing in the mission and vision of an organization when you don’t believe it yourself? That’s simply impossible.

At this point, there is one question you need to ask yourself. Do you know what the mission and vision of your organization are? If you respond by naming what you do, that’s not the same thing. One is what you do. The other is how you do it. If you know what you do, but not the way you are expected to do it, you cannot effectively lead others to assist in accomplishing the company’s goals.


The final trait that every successful leader must have is integrity. Integrity in this sense has a simple meaning; doing what you say you will do and behaving the way that you expect your team to behave.

If you want to practice integrity, there are three key areas that you can concentrate on developing: sincerity, consistency and substance. Leaders demonstrate these facets of integrity, for example, by being honest about their own limitations, having the same expectations or rules for themselves as for their employees, and making it a priority to maintain clear communication and resolve any conflicts

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