Posted 04 April 2012 by Chris Farmer
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Common characteristics of a leader
All leaders have common characteristics that mark them out as leaders.
The characteristics are independent of the particular industry or the market sector: the characteristics are those that distinguish the leader from the non-leader. If you want to improve your leadership skills then do the following:
- Consider numerous specific examples of great leadership: Churchill, Ghandi, Lincoln, Napoleon, Thatcher, Bill Gates etc.
- Identify the distinguishing characteristics that are unique to leadership.
- Name them and make a list.
- Memorise the list.
- Practice the "distinguishing characteristics that are unique to leadership" for long enough to make them a part of your habitual patterns of behaviour.
To help you in your quest I have done the first three steps for you.
Your job is to take the last two steps.
Create a strong desire to achieve a specific goal
To all leaders, this characteristic is the most important.
All leaders ARE leaders primarily because they have committed themselves to achieve a definite goal:
- Spartacus wanted freedom for his slave army
- J.F. Kennedy wanted to put an American on the moon
- Ghandi wanted freedom from the British
- Margaret Thatcher wanted to reinstate free market capitalism in place of Labours socialism
- Marin Luther King wanted freedom from racist America
- Karl Marx wanted to reinstate socialism in place of free market capitalism
All leaders want to lead their followers somewhere!
An apathetic leader is a contradiction in terms.
If you want to develop your leadership qualities then mentally lock onto a worthwhile and specific goal.
The leaders are good communicators
You can't lead if nobody will follow!
So most leaders are also good communicators.
They work hard to develop their communication skills; both spoken and written.
- Churchill was a great communicator
- Tony Blair too, had the gift of the gab
- So too, does David Cameron
Question is Ed Milliband a great orator? ....... or not?
Develop your ability to handle the English language
Improve your command of the English language
Most leaders are good planners
They spend hours planning and preparing.
They don't hope that things will happen; they make sure they will happen
"Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire." Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
"When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal." Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
Become an incessant planner
Maintain a sense of optimism for the future
All great leaders expect to win.
There is no greatness to be found in people who begin expecting to lose.
Leaders who expect to lose, lose.
The trick is to create a thought habit of expecting success.
Manufacture positive expectation even in the absence of tangible evidence.
The self-belief is built upon the detailed written plan, not the evidence of the senses.
Example even in the darkest days Churchill spoke of winning
"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory."
All leaders have self-belief and confidence based upon sound plans.
The last factor I want to add to your list is courage. All leaders must have sufficient courage to take on the responsibility of assuming the role of leader
Courage is that state of mind that enables you to face fear situations with confidence, and resolution.
"You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honour". Aristotle
Ronald Reagan said "There are no easy answers' but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.
Remember that courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others".
If you want to improve your leadership skills then do the following:
- Create a strong desire to achieve a specific goal
- Improve your command of the English language
- Become an incessant planner
- Maintain a sense of optimism for the future
- Develop courage
For more information about Leadership skills training visit the Corporate Coach Group website