As we grow up we develop all sorts of talents, abilities, habits and disciplines. In reading Napoleon Hills ” Think and Grow Rich” a book that was inspired by Andrew Carnegie. I came across a section that Was called “The Major Attributes of Leadership”. I read the first 5 and thought this would be a great section to rate myself from 1-10 and identify what makes me a great leader and the areas i need to still develop.
As i have progressed in life i have come to realize that many Managers, Teachers, Business Owners, and even CEO’s lack some of the most basic leadership skills. I post these in hope that a few of you may grow and develop to be effective and profitable leaders in life and business . For those that haven’t read the book i pass them on to you. I hope you take the time to rate yourself and be open and honest about your results.
1) Unwavering courage- based upon knowledge of self, and of ones occupation. No follower wishes to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence and courage. No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader very long.
2) Self-Control- The man who cannot control himself can never control others. Self-control sets a mighty example for ones followers, which the more intelligent will emulate.
3) A keen sense of justice- Without a sense of fairness and justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of his followers.
4) Definiteness of decision- The man who wavers in his decisions, shows that he is not sure of himself, cannot lead others successfully.
5) Definiteness of plans- The successful leader must plan his work, and work his plan. A leader who moves by guessing work, without practical, definite plans, is comparable to a ship without a rudder. Sooner or later he will land on the rocks.
6) The habit of doing more than paid for- One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of the leader, to do more than he requires of his followers.
7) A pleasing personality- No slovenly, careless person can become a successful leader. Leadership calls for respect. Followers will not respect a leader who does not grade high on all of the factors of a pleasing personality.
8) Sympathy and understanding- The successful leader must be in sympathy with his followers. Moreover, he must understand them and their problems.
9) Master of detail- Successful leadership calls for master of the details of the leader’s position.
10) Willingness to assume full responsibility- The successful leader must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistakes and the shortcomings of his followers. If he tries to shift this responsibility, he will not remain the leader. If one of his followers makes a mistake, and shows himself in competent, the leader must consider that it is he who failed.
11) Cooperation- The successful leader must understand and apply the principle of cooperative effort and be able to induce his followers to do the same. Leadership calls for power, and power calls for cooperation.
Ironically after reading the above Leadership Attributes later that day i listened to a podcast with Tim Ferris interviewing Stanley McCrystal a 4 star General in the army. He was a prime example of what a leader is and can be. It wasn’t the typical drill Sargent style leader i would think about in the military. He gave a shit about his troops and still carried empathy for the countries he was in. I can go on and on but I encourage you to check it out. http://fourhourworkweek.com/blog/
Take some time and think of the people you may now take direction from. Do they have these qualities? Do you want to work for somebody that doesn’t? It should be motivating for somebody that embraces these attributes because you as a person and leader will have an edge over the competition as you blaze your path in life.
Wishing you all the best,