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10 Traits of Effective Leaders


As a leader, you already know how to identify each of your team member’s strongest skills and assets. Because you don’t expect each person on the team to excel in every area, you also know that it’s important to create a diverse group of people who balance and complement one another. Similarly, leaders have their own unique skills and specializations. Effective leaders often possess the following ten traits.

1. Focused
To lead a team to success, leaders must possess an extraordinary amount of focus. It’s important to eliminate distractions from the work area and to hone in on the key issues at hand. While leaders are often pulled in numerous directions simultaneously, they must be able to retain clear minds and focus on the things that matter.

2. Passionate
It’s possible to teach someone to be a leader, but truly effective leaders are already passionate about what they do. Your enthusiasm and level of commitment can inspire your team members and motivate them to do better work. Modeling the attitude you want each person to have is one of the most effective ways to lead your team toward a successful destination.

3. Assertive
As a leader, you have requirements for your team and goals that must be fulfilled. When team members (more…)

Five Keys to Legendary Leadership


Leadership — genuine, influential, effective leadership — is a subtle thing. It’s not something that readily reduces to a cookie-cutter recipe or paint-by-numbers formula. We all know that. That’s why there have been a thousand good books on leadership, and will be a thousand more. But for all we describe it and study it, it still seems elusive — which is why it so often surprises us when a truly great leader appears in our midst.

Why so elusive? In part, because great leadership is shot through with contradiction.

A great leader is selfless — and has a healthy ego. A great leader is by definition unitary, singular, unique — and somehow inspires thousands to emulate him or her. Great leaders have their heads in the clouds and their toes firmly in the dirt.

Here are five descriptions of what great leaders do, what we call “Five Keys to Legendary Leadership.” The first four are all essential — and are completely contradicted by the fifth. Yet somehow, the first four don’t seem to work without the fifth.

They are the four fingers and thumb of leadership.

Finger #1: Hold the Vision
Building a business takes skill, work, and capital resources. But those are details. More than anything else, building a business—really, building anything—is an act of faith. Because you’re creating something out of nothing. You are moving into the future on invisible wires, without a net.

It’s easy to say, “Hold a vision.” The hard part isn’t the vision. Anyone can come up with a vision. The hard part is the holding.
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