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Attributes of Excellent Leaders

Dream more, complain less, listen more, talk less, love more, argue less, hope more, fear less, relax more, worry less, believe more, doubt less, play more, work less. (unknown)

Excellent leadership consists of so many different attributes that it sometimes makes you wonder whether it requires more than being a normal human being in order to achieve all the desired characteristics to qualify as an excellent leader. How can anyone, naturally, possess, or even during an entire lifetime develop in oneself the qualities of an excellent leader? Tough question, the answer of which I do not know. Perhaps it is even easier to recognize, and develop, these qualities in other individuals rather in focusing on ourselves?

We rise by lifting others. (Robert Ingersoll)

One of my previous posts, “The World Needs Excellent Leaders”, received a number of comments, including this excellent comment from Mr. Andreas Jaffke:

Anne-Maria, the problem is that those great leaders are usually invisible due to the fact that they don’t need any recognition for their leadership, they are not big egos, they are humble, supportive and don’t ask for anything in change. As Lao Tzu said: “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim is fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves.” They are there, but you won’t find them 😉 (Andreas Jaffke, CEO and founder of TopCoach4You).

Great thoughts, but how can an individual progress to that “level”, or state of leadership? And, how much of an inward/mental journey, is excellent leadership? Is excellent leadership rather a state of being than a state of doing?

Excellent leadership cannot be classified through words put in an alphabetical order, but listing and organizing words/attributes is certainly a way of reflecting upon these, and picking those which apply to you personally may help in seeing which attributes you already do have, and where you may need to develop (or want to develop). Perhaps an even better exercise would be to work these through in a group to find out how other individuals see you.

Adjectives/attributes of excellent leaders:

A – Analytic, Accepting, Allowing, Aware, Adjusting, Approachable

B – Balanced

C – Caring, Clear, Creative, Credible, Collaborative, Coaching, Committed, Constructive, Convincing, Courageous

D – Deep, Developing, Diplomatic, Dreamy (Daydreamer)

E – Empowering, Enthusiastic, Evolving, Ethical, Experienced

F – Facilitating, Fantastic, Flexible, Free, Focused

G – Giving, Great

H – Humane, Hearty, Helpful, Honest, Humble

I – Ideological, Imaginative, Intelligent, Inspirational

J – Joyful, Juggling

K – Knowledgeable

L – Leading, Loving, Loyal

M – Magic, Mature, Meaningful, Moral, Multicultural

N – Negotiable, Nourishing

O – Objective, Observational, Optimistic, Open-minded

P – Patient, Passionate, Peaceful, Persuasive, Polite, Present, Problem-solving, Progressive

Q – Qualified, Questioning

R – Realistic, Reasonable, Receptive, Reliable, Respectable

S – Selfless, Sharing, Skillful, Spiritual, Stable, Supportive

T –  Tactful, Thankful, Team-player, Thoughtful, Truthful, Tranquil, Trustworthy, Trusting

U – Unbiased, Upright

V – Valued, Visionary/Visual

W – Warm, Well-Organized, Worldly

Simon Sinek on Building Trust Through Committed Leadership:

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