Monday 8 February 2010

Common Traits found in the Uncommon Leader

The acclaimed Leadership author John Maxwell summarised why people who lead at the highest levels are quite extraordinary. They are people of action who have their priorities in line. Here are the 5 common threads he's found in these extraordinary people he's encountered. A link to a short and easy to read summary of his book "The Right to Lead" can be viewed here:

Here's what he found:
  1. FUTURISTS: Their dreams are bigger than their memories
  2. LOBBYISTS: Their cause outlives and out-speaks their critics
  3. CATALYSTS: They initiate movement and momentum for others
  4. SPECIALISTS: They don't do everything, they do one thing especially well
  5. OPTIMISTS: They believe in their cause and people beyond reason

When you break that down what 'type of person' do you get? It looks like they're forward looking so they will have a Vision. The most dangerous of all dreamers, the dreamers of the day-those that recall and act on their dreams. They have Passion, they toil tirelessly for what they believe in. Today we call that "banging on and on"........They also Persevere in order to prevail. Leaders cannot lead without a mandate from followers. These people are Inspirational and role model the behaviours and actions they want. This motivates others to do the same. Though we have to be good generalists to get by, these days in order to excel we need to Acquire Mastery in some specific area. Malcolm Gladwell in his latest book (Outliers) reckons this takes 10,000 hours- approx 10 years! These Masters are Sanguine and Upbeat, resilient and resourceful. They have an easy relationship with the world. You know why...? It's because when things don't go according to plan they reframe the problem in their own heads in order to focus on what they want. This unwavering belief allows them to play a long game in pursuit of their own cause and supporting the development of those linked to that success. This is not about title and hierarchy, much more about progress and contribution. This I believe is what turns Leaders into what Stephen Covey calls 'People Magnets'

As you read this, think about how you'd feel this Monday if this was your Leader...!!

While you're waiting for Perfection to show up, take the first step on the road to Excellence and see where that leads you. You'll become a Leader in your own right without any consultation, telling or asking whatsoever..........Enjoy the journey and watch how people treat you differently!

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