So What is it That Makes a Leader Great?

The five dimensions of Meta-leadership as deve...
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This week we’ve looked at gender as it impacts stereotypical leadership traits as well as who was a favourite boss and why.  I cannot draw any conclusions.  Can you?

I think the answer is actually a smattering of each.  Men and women both have fabulous leadership traits.  We need to capitalize on the strengths of our gender and learn to develop the strength of the other.

Then I got to thinking about the traits we have not yet looked at.  A few came to mind:

  • Motivation
  • Capacity for Knowledge
  • Agility

The first is simple.  I don’t think anyone can be a good leader if s/he does not have the motivation to succeed.  All great leaders are driven and focussed on a goal.  The size or loftiness of the goal is irrelevant.  They need something they are working towards in order to lead others.

Capacity for Knowledge – can a good leader be only so-so intelligent?  I don’t think so.  I think a leader needs the ability to think on a more strategic level than his or her followers.  They need the ability to make linkages between concepts and previous experiences that many others would overlook.  A capacity for knowledge is a critical component to leadership.

Last but not least, agility.  (And I don’t mean running around in the sand while your dog runs through tubes.)(The latter of which, by the way, is my most failed athletic attempt ever!  My dog is waaay smarter than me!)

Agility means the ability to go with the flow, to adapt plans and strategies on the fly to deal with the ever changing environment.  Great leaders understand that they need to be fluid and move with their environment.  Change is a necessary evil and great leaders embrace it!

I think this is the beginnings of a recipe for a great leader.  Your thoughts?  Personal culinary recommendations?


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