What are the leading attributes of a leader?

August 15, 2013

working-togetherSam my son called last night.  He is in his junior year at Syracuse; playing on the football team and they are in the midst of pre-season.  He was assigned to lead a team of 10 players for the next week.  His challenge is that he was appointed the leader over other senior members to the team and he is concerned they will feel slighted in not being selected.  His leadership is expected beyond the football field; he is to be certain his team members arrive at meals and meetings on time.

His question was how do I lead team members who do not want to be led?  What a fun conversation!  In a nutshell, Sam’s breakthrough was that he does not need to convince others to help him achieve the outcomes. Instead, how can he be helpful to them so that together they can achieve the desired outcomes?  Big goal of leaders…“how to get powerful people working together to achieve profitable results.”  Sam’s strategy is simple.  When you have time, which is the majority of the time, lead by being helpful through questioning to establish collaboration and teamness.  When under time pressure or competition, get out in front and lead by example.

This also fits in with what we have been training executives in leading engagement within their organizations.  In fact here are the Four Attributes that lead to engagement:

  1. Clear Direction
  2. Leadership Competence
  3. Consistent Communication
  4. Collaboration

Here are some questions to ponder:

  • Which attributes are the biggest challenge or offer the greatest opportunity for improvement?
  • What is the impact of having communication but not collaboration?
  • What happens if you have direction and/or competence, but not communication?

Human Relations Principle of the Week:

Make other people feel important and do it sincerely.

–        Dale Carnegie


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