We’re going to look at 10 specific attributes that every leader should possess. If you are able to incorporate these into your leadership style and behavior, you will be able to build a stronger team, an organization that is more cohesive, and a culture in which people work together toward common goals.
Integrity is the foundation of all other attributes. Without it, nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter how smart you are or how much talent you have if you don’t have integrity. You can be brilliant and talented but if you do not have integrity, then it won’t matter because people will not trust you or follow you.
Humility is the opposite of arrogance or pridefulness. It means that as a leader, I am willing to admit mistakes and failures. It means that I am willing to learn from others and to ask for help when I need it. It also means that I am willing to give credit to others, even if they are not the ones who receive the credit.
Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s experience or situation by imagining what it might be like to walk a mile in their shoes. As leaders, we must be able to put ourselves in other people’s positions and understand where they are coming from, what their motivations are, and how they feel about things.
Passion is an intense feeling of deep interest or enthusiasm for something. Leaders should have passion for their work and for the mission of the organization that they lead. They should be passionate about helping others grow and develop into better leaders themselves.
Trustworthiness is the ability to be relied upon to do what I say I am going to do and to do what is right even when no one is looking. It means that I keep my word and that I am consistent in my behavior with others. People should know they can count on me and that they can believe what I tell them. They should feel comfortable around me because they know they can trust me and they know that I will always do what is right.
Competence is the ability to do a job well. It is the ability to get the results that are desired by those who have put their trust in me as a leader. It means that I am able to perform my duties and responsibilities with excellence. It means that I am able to achieve results and deliver on my promises, and it means that I can make good decisions when they are needed.
Confidence is the feeling or belief that we can handle whatever comes our way because we know we have what it takes to succeed in any situation. As leaders, we must be confident about ourselves and our abilities so that others will also be confident in us and believe in our abilities as a leader.
Passionate curiosity is the desire to learn and to explore. Leaders should be curious about their world, their organization, and the people that they lead. They should want to discover new things and new ways of doing things. They should be willing to learn from others, even when they are already very successful leaders.
Optimism is the belief that good things will happen in the future even though we might have some challenges or setbacks along the way. It is a belief that we can achieve our goals if we work hard enough and if we have the right attitude and mindset.
Accountability means taking responsibility for our actions and for our decisions, no matter what happens or how it turns out. It means that I am willing to take action when needed, even if I am not sure what the outcome will be or if I will get credit for it later. It means that I am willing to take responsibility for my behavior and my actions, even if they turn out to be unpopular or if they might cause me problems.