The 7 Attributes of Top Leaders
By Eric Garner
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Management guru Warren Bennis says that top leaders have 7 attributes that make them outstanding in their field. They are...
- Technical Competence. This is what Bennis calls business literacy and a grasp of one's field. If you don't know the ins and outs of your business, you're going to be at a serious disadvantage when facing the competition. Become an obsessive student of your business field until you know intimately how it works.
- Conceptual Skills. This is a faculty for abstract thinking. It includes what Jonathan Swift called "seeing the invisible" ie visualising where people can go and what they can achieve. Practise taking time out just to play with your thoughts of where you and your team can go.
- Track Record. This is a history of achieving results. Your track record enhances your credibility and therefore your authority. Don't let any kind of achievement go by without recording it and using it to let people know you're a person who gets results.
- People Skills. Of all the people skills that you need to have to get people working with you, the top 3 in Bennis's opinion are the ability to communicate, motivate, and delegate. Make up your mind to develop these three skills until you are a master.
- Taste. The idea of "taste" is an intuitive sense of where talent lies. The great leaders are those who spot the potential right under their nose. When others just see people as resources on a balance sheet, successful leaders see them as potential to be developed. Get a taste for the talent in your team.
- Judgment. Few leaders today are able to operate in perfect conditions. More often than not, they have to take decisions in imperfect conditions. That's when their judgment comes into play. When time is short, when the data is lacking, great leaders rely on intuition to get them through. Make that sixth sense your best friend.
- Character. Character means the qualities that define who you are. Not personality. Personality is your outward public face. But character. The values inside that matter more than anything else. Decide what yours are and how important they are to you.
Eric Garner is Managing Director of ManageTrainLearn, the site that will make you a better manager, trainer and learner. Click ManageTrainLearn for a learning experience of a lifetime.
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Article Submitted On: September 04, 2006