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 6 Essential Leadership Traits

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Raven

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PostSubject: 6 Essential Leadership Traits   Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:02 pm

6 Essential Leadership Traits

Leadership is not some esoteric quality that only a chosen few are born with. Rather, it is a set of skills that both potential and experienced leaders can develop and hone, and utilize to transform challenging tasks into spectacular successes. Here are some of the most essential qualities of a leader.

1. Leaders are Emotionally Mature

Workplaces, and other areas in life, can often be fraught with stressful situations. Facing tough situations is an inevitable factor of life. Usually, most people react to a tough situation either by displaying frustration or by bursting out in anger or an emotional flare-up. However, leaders always display emotional maturity in every kind of situation they face. They have the skill of holding in their feelings of anger and frustration, and instead displaying calmness and emotional maturity.

2. Leaders Display Assertiveness
Leaders are characterized by their firmness and strength of purpose. They know what they want and need, and go about achieving it assertively. They are never daunted by the challenges that they have to overcome on the path to achieving their goals. They have an unwavering attitude towards the obstacles that come their way. A leader has the skill to demand and get the cooperation of his/her team assertively in order to achieve the goals set.

3. Leaders have Self-Confidence
One of the characteristic traits that define leadership skills is being self-assured and having self-confidence. Leaders almost always, never require the approval of others about the decisions they take and the actions they carry out. They do not act in order to get other people's acceptance. They are very secure about themselves and do not hesitate to accept any mistakes that they may have made. This kind of self-confidence is often the result of facing and overcoming challenges as they occur.

4. Capacity to Work Hard
Hard work does not daunt leaders. Fueled by their passion, they have high levels of energy that keeps them going on seemingly forever. They get the job done no matter how many long hours they have to spend on it. This is a particularly important leadership skill as only when the leader shows by example how hard he/she can work will the team follow the leader likewise.

5. Leaders have Self-Awareness
This implies that leaders are conscious of their priorities, motivations, weaknesses, and strengths. They are aware of what they need to do in order to improve and exactly what is driving them to achieve what they have set out to do. Since they are aware of who they are it helps in making leading other people easier.

6. Leadership Skills involve Building Relationships
Indeed, leaders have the skill of empathizing with each member of the team, thus building a relationship with them. Leaders have the inherent ability of earning respect from their team members and building their trust. This is a vital contributory factor of the productivity of teams.

Leadership skills involve setting an example and being a model. It is about having a certain charisma - qualities that other people are drawn towards, trust, look up to, and feel comfortable with. Leadership involves taking inputs from everybody and deciding how it all fits according to the vision. It involves providing a path for others to follow. It means having the ability to think ahead. It is about inspiring and motivating people to achieve their full potential. Leadership means getting everybody to comprehend the goal and then work towards achieving it. leadership skills, remember, can always be cultivated in oneself.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/define-leadership-skills.html
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PostSubject: Re: 6 Essential Leadership Traits   Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:58 pm

GREAT post Raven! Smile
Just sort of came to mind half way through something I felt could be mentioned. Most leaders do possess these traits, but, not all leaders are good. Take Hitler. Awesome leader. Fit every criteria...except perhaps emotional maturity, but then again he did help build hospitals and schools, but his reaction to a later tough situation was to kill himsel with his mistress...so, yeah, I'm thinking he may have just been sort of conflicted in the emotional maturity department, but for the most part I'd say he was fairly emotionally mature. I won't say whether he was crazy or not. (I understand a lot of people think he was). But I've done quite a bit of homework on Hitler. I just like researching historical leaders and men of power to learn from their successes and failures. Ghandi, Martin Luther King Junior, Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Ghangis Khan, Napolean, King Arthur, Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Nicolo Machievelli, Morihei Ueshiba, Natori Masatake, Dhali Llama, Moses, Leonidas, (I forget his last name; He was the leader of the 300 Spartans). Oh, and of course the battle of Troy, I've always read that as more of a story in a fairytale book, even though it was nonfiction, but I remember the story but not the characters. Story goes in a nutshell that two men were in love with the same women. These two men became adversaries, and there was a lot of turmoil, and one day one of the men approached the others gates with a large wooden horse, wishing for a truce. The king let his guard down, and descended into the courtyard. Then soldiers came out of the wooden horse, and the king was slain. Not sure if the girl and the dude ever got together....they had weird ways of gaining a womens affection back then, but I'd like to think she assumed he was bat shit crazy and stayed away from that fella....at least, thats what a modern day woman would do. Depends on if she liked her now-ex-boyfriend-king haha. But anyhoo, yeah, I love that sorta shit, for leasiure and for study and learnin'. Smile
Mom says I'm a natural born leader. I can see the above six charecteristics in myself a lot. never really noticed them before though. For the most part I just try and keep everyone happy. It's super tiring and exhausting but I feel bad and uncomfortable when I do things for myself, like I'm being selfish. Courtesy of the Director. I actually need therapuetic help/work on doing something nice for myself once in a while and not busting my butt twenty four seven for others or worrying about so many things and trying to stretch myself so much. But hey, I guess I'm a pretty good leader. In my own life anyway. I personally feel there's a time and a place to be a leader and in order to be a good leader you have to understand one of the most important lessons of all first and formost: Followership. Knowing how to be a good follower is a goo precursor to developing internal leadhip skills. A good follower is like the cayote; ears up, mouth closed. Listening, and observing, and being able to follow instructions. Following instructions sounds easy. Trust me, it's pretty hard. Take the bellow example for example, happened about a week ago.
"HAMILTON! GO GET SLAVIC TWO TOY HOSE, FIVE Y'S, TWO QUARTER INCH VALVES AND RENDEVOUS WITH STINE FOR YOUR AAR AND THEN REPORT BACK TO BASE WITH YOUR REPORT TO THE IC!"
"I'M ON IT!" I start running back into the woods, line pack slamming me in the back and fire shelter slamming into my butt, and my two water bottles flopping at my sides, my helmet boucning up and down, branches smacking me in the face but it's oka because of my goggles and my gloves protecting my hands and my feet are burning hot in these boots; they're regulation but stand in ash smoke all day carrying eight jugs of water, 40 pounds of personal gear, three MRE's, and a pulaski gets pretty tiring after a while, and your whole body feels like it's throbbing violently. But right now, I had to....OH NO, I forgot the instructions! What did he say?

I'm getting better at keeping it all in my head now though. Practice makes perfect. I'm learning to not just immediately tell them I'm on it because dilly dallying is really frowned upon and I wanted to be snappy. But, because I replied so quickly and moved out, I didn't really hear everything he said. So then I learned that before I take the initiative, I have to stop for a sec, listen, stop thinking about what I'm going to say next or do next (we're all guilty of this at some point), and fully pay attention, verify I have the correct information for clarity, and then, after I know I have the information, procceed to perform the instructions. Following instructions in a life and death situation is good practice for followership. On the fireline, everything could be at stake and so you HAVE to know how to slow down, keep your mouth shut, and listen to what your being told, and not let the adrenaline rush get to you; number one killer of firefighters is during transportation when they flip on the pretty lights and sirens and race to the incident at over a 100 miles an hour. It's quite a rush, and it takes a lot of discipline to remain calm, think clearly, and act decisvely while at the same time listening to instructions and taking into account the environmental factors and hazards by keeping your SA up. XD
How yal liking these random firefighter training lessons as they pertain to different aspects of being a superhero? XD
It's weird how much I'm seeing in my career things that can be used and incorporated by the RLSH! Made a good choice in getting the job. Smile
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Tothian
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PostSubject: Re: 6 Essential Leadership Traits   Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:04 am

Raven,

Awesome stuff! While no leader will be perfect and always have 100% perfect standards in every area, the stuff you are posting are a pretty good combination of good definitive qualities for any leader to aspire to. The things you speak of are a lot of what they often become over time with experience.

I would like to reply to each one individually and give my thoughts on them.

Raven wrote:
6 Essential Leadership Traits

Leadership
is not some esoteric quality that only a chosen few are born with.
Rather, it is a set of skills that both potential and experienced
leaders can develop and hone, and utilize to transform challenging tasks
into spectacular successes. Here are some of the most essential
qualities of a leader.

I agree. Just as nobody is born wise, nobody can be born a leader. It is something one develops over time, through actions, experience, learning, and also consistency.
Raven wrote:
1. Leaders are Emotionally Mature
Workplaces,
and other areas in life, can often be fraught with stressful
situations. Facing tough situations is an inevitable factor of life.
Usually, most people react to a tough situation either by displaying
frustration or by bursting out in anger or an emotional flare-up.
However, leaders always display emotional maturity in every kind of
situation they face. They have the skill of holding in their feelings of
anger and frustration, and instead displaying calmness and emotional
maturity.

This is true. How much a leader can be treated with respect is also by how well they deal with it. Interestingly enough, over time if one makes enough mistakes and is able to learn from them, they can grow to become better.

Raven wrote:
2. Leaders Display Assertiveness
Leaders
are characterized by their firmness and strength of purpose. They know
what they want and need, and go about achieving it assertively. They are
never daunted by the challenges that they have to overcome on the path
to achieving their goals. They have an unwavering attitude towards the
obstacles that come their way. A leader has the skill to demand and get
the cooperation of his/her team assertively in order to achieve the
goals set.

I very much agree with this one. There is no room for passive aggressiveness in leadership. Aggressiveness can work alright if it's for training purposes, but again there's a time and place for things. As far as passiveness, if it's the right time for it alright, but for the most part, personalitywise, it isn't good to be passive when as a leader. You need to be bold. People need to know where you stand on things.

Raven wrote:
3. Leaders have Self-Confidence
One
of the characteristic traits that define leadership skills is being
self-assured and having self-confidence. Leaders almost always, never
require the approval of others about the decisions they take and the
actions they carry out. They do not act in order to get other people's
acceptance. They are very secure about themselves and do not hesitate to
accept any mistakes that they may have made. This kind of
self-confidence is often the result of facing and overcoming challenges
as they occur.

This is also good too and very important. Confidence not only in ourselves but also in those we work with. Nothing will inspire a person more than believing in them. Well, alright, there could be other things, but I know how this one means a lot to a lot of people, when people truly believe in them. Honesty is important too, to ensure that all complements are genuine and not fake.

Raven wrote:
4. Capacity to Work Hard
Hard
work does not daunt leaders. Fueled by their passion, they have high
levels of energy that keeps them going on seemingly forever. They get
the job done no matter how many long hours they have to spend on it.
This is a particularly important leadership skill as only when the
leader shows by example how hard he/she can work will the team follow
the leader likewise.

Passion is extremely important. It's something much deeper and more important than just having energy or interest. It's something that fuels you in your spirit. It keeps you going when you do not have much energy. Because you feel driven to do and truly believe it's important.

Raven wrote:
5. Leaders have Self-Awareness
This
implies that leaders are conscious of their priorities, motivations,
weaknesses, and strengths. They are aware of what they need to do in
order to improve and exactly what is driving them to achieve what they
have set out to do. Since they are aware of who they are it helps in
making leading other people easier.

We have to know our strengths and weaknesses. This is also one important reason for why teams exist. To balance out each individual's weaknesses with the strengths of others. And sometimes the strength itself is in numbers.

Raven wrote:
6. Leadership Skills involve Building Relationships
Indeed,
leaders have the skill of empathizing with each member of the team,
thus building a relationship with them. Leaders have the inherent
ability of earning respect from their team members and building their
trust. This is a vital contributory factor of the productivity of teams.

Consistent communication is the key here. It's what helps people get more familiar with each other and helps things flow more naturally.

Raven wrote:
Leadership
skills involve setting an example and being a model. It is about having
a certain charisma - qualities that other people are drawn towards,
trust, look up to, and feel comfortable with. Leadership involves taking
inputs from everybody and deciding how it all fits according to the
vision. It involves providing a path for others to follow. It means
having the ability to think ahead. It is about inspiring and motivating
people to achieve their full potential. Leadership means getting
everybody to comprehend the goal and then work towards achieving it.
leadership skills, remember, can always be cultivated in oneself.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/define-leadership-skills.html

Yes. That is all very true. Thank you for sharing this with us!



204,
As for what you had said... It reminds me of a question. If there were 3 people who could be chosen to be some kind of leader. You had 3 choices.

Candidate 1- Associates with crooked politicians, and consults with astrologists. He's had two mistresses. He also chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.

Candidate 2- He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and drinks a quart of whiskey every evening.

Candidate 3- He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer and hasn't had any extramarital affairs.

So, if you were to think about which one sounds like the best candidate, just look at who each one is...

Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt
Candidate B is Winston Churchill
Candidate C is Adolph Hitler

Which is one reason to understand that personal qualities are often irrelevant to leadership. Popularity should never be an ingredient in leadership, it is however a bonus. It is what a leader stands for that matters most. But other good traits are just icing on the cake.
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C

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PostSubject: Re: 6 Essential Leadership Traits   Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:54 pm

Another thing about leaders: You rarely get to choose your leader. So you can only hope that you'll end up with a good one.

I read a book about leadership once, in relation to work-related project management. Lots of good stuff in that book. I particular remember one quote, which I've used often afterwards when reminding people what a leader is and isn't. It goes like this:

"It is not the captain that decides the destination of the ship. That is decided by the ship owner."

A lot of rookies often makes the mistake of thinking that the leader decides a lot of things. He doesn't. He leads. He leads everyone the way that was decided they should go. Decided by themselves as a democracy, or decided by an owner. The leader decides very little. He just leads the way that was decided to go. :-)

A good leader knows that nothing can be achieved by force. So the main thing a leader must do, is to listen to people and learn how THEY want to do things, and then find out how to let them do things like they want, in a way so that it results in achieving the destination that has been set.

(Sorry if I've repeated things already written in this thread. Have to admit I didn't read it all).
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PostSubject: Re: 6 Essential Leadership Traits   Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:24 pm

@Tothian: Nice! I like that question. To be comepletely honest, I voted for Candidate number 2 because he reminded me of myself and sounded like he had a rough time growing up which means he's likely an inteligent person with a lot of shit under his belt.
I was sort of nervous about candidate number three even before reading who he was because it sounded like he was trying to hard to be perfect and people who want and expect perfection usually turn out to be violent dictators. So I was pretty surprised in a way reading who they really were and how accurate my first impression of them based on a few known variables and my past experiences was haha. Smile
Awesome.

--204
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PostSubject: Re: 6 Essential Leadership Traits   Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:07 am

"Hitler was a vegetarian and a painter, so he must have been going: I can't get the trees quite right.. DAMN, I will kill EVERYONE in the world!"
- quote Eddie Izzard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpcxfsjIIbM
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Tothian
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PostSubject: Re: 6 Essential Leadership Traits   Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:54 am

C,

That is a good point how people do not always get to choose their leaders. They do often make decisions that decide where they are though, so in a sense they indirectly choose their leaders. Where they choose to be is the decision that leads them in to deciding what leaders they have.

We all have a voice of our opinions which in some sense matters. Even if it does not necessarily make the exact change we want it to. We can't deny that in some sense, it does matter.

"No person ever made a greater mistake of doing nothing because they could only do a little." -Edmund Burke

As for the other parts it can depend on the leadership structure of the group. Like to use Ships as an example of the old Pirate days of the late 1500's and early 1600's, even the crew could sort of outvote the Captain on some key decisions. But that the Captain did have some major authority over the crew members. But I guess a lot of it had to do with (and still in modern day examples) fear, and influence. Risk versus reward.

There is also the question of Leadership in rank/title/position, and Leadership in skills/qualities/abilities.

There is the leadership of what senior leaders might permit, allow, or give. Then there's the Leadership of what you yourself earn and have the opportunities of. Then there's the Leadership of how you deal with the followers.

All Leaders must be good Followers. But are all Followers good Leaders? It can really depend on the task. A follower doesn't need to necessarily need to be a good Leader yet in order to achieve the task. But, the better his ability to lead, the more effectively he can assist the leader in leading more people to achieve the task.

If I ask you to go out in the city and promote this idea. It will take some good traits of followership and leadership to perform the task. But the effectiveness multiplies if you yourself find a group of 5 people to help you. The effectiveness multiplies. Especially if those 5 people find 5 more people. And depending on how clear one is at the task, and how much it benefits those involved and how much you can convince them how much it matters to them, could determine how effective one is at this. Just to give an idea.


Hero Man, (who replied as 204)

Haha! You (or, at least one of you!) WOULD vote for that guy, knowing you! LOL!

Also, you make a good point about that!


C,

LOL!
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