12 Most Pervasive “P” Peculiarities of Great Leaders
“Passion creates energy and magnetically pulls co-workers and customers into a shared vision, and it is exceptionally strong when linked with a leader’s values.” ~ John Maxwell
As I write this post, I am contemplating… what on earth am I going to do when I get to “Q” in this series?!? But enough about my quandary — let’s use one of those “P’s not to be,” procrastination, and worry about that post tomorrow!
You can catch up on this 12 Most ABC’s of Leadership series by reading 12 Most Optimum “O” Oddities of Great Leaders.
I debated not including this on the list of great attributes because I do not subscribe to the following quote unless it is put in the right context: “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” ~ Andrew Grove, former CEO of Intel.
Do not live a paranoid life; however, do not succumb to complacency based upon early successes. I may not be paranoid, but I do operate under the assumption that there is ALWAYS someone out there better than me. I hope that my strong work ethic and willingness to adapt will be the difference-makers between me and the “better guy.”
The most successful organizations and corporate brands are the ones that passionately believe in what they are doing. That passion should start at the top and permeate the entire organization. Employees need to believe in the leadership’s vision in order to truly exceed expectations.
A Chinese proverb states “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” Great leaders may be passionate, but they do not act rashly. They patiently consider the facts and all viewpoints before crucial decisions.
Truly special leaders are peerless in both their decision-making and their level of personal accountability. The great ones also shoulder the responsibility to teach the next generation to be peerless in their own leadership.
Pay attention! Great leaders are perceptive on all fronts. They monitor team dynamics, employee morale, and competitors’ positioning in the fierce battle for market share. As Arnold Glasgow put it, “One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.”
Great leaders know how to instill their work ethic and drive for success throughout their companies. Their positive and relentless attitudes permeate all aspects of their organizations.
Non-egotistical leaders realize that it isn’t realistic to put an entire company “on their backs.” They need to equip others within the organization, and then give those people permission to act autonomously. Succeed, and celebrate the success. Fail, and learn from the mistakes while giving those budding leaders permission to try again.
“The deed is everything, the glory naught.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had the right perspective. If we can take the eyes off the mirror occasionally, and realize we are tremendously blessed relative to so many other people in our global community, then we can make a true and lasting difference in our lifetime.
Great leaders are philanthropic. They lead by example, and they encourage their employees, families and friends to get involved with the global community. Besides, we like to do business with people we like and respect. What better way to build respect than through your service to the less fortunate?
To be plausible is to be credible and believable. In this age of rampant corporate irresponsibility and financial scandals, we want plausible leaders we can believe in and rally behind! Believable leaders develop loyal employees!
I’ve always loved the word “plucky.” It can mean courageous but I prefer “spunky and spirited” as it often applies to under-sized or disadvantaged persons. Entrepreneurial leaders of small companies have to show plenty of pluck to get their companies “over the top.”
I like Earl Wilson’s definition of poise: “Poise — the ability to be ill at ease inconspicuously.” The business world can be chaotic, and there are times it feels like there are fire drills going on all around us. The key is to never let ’em see you sweat! Poised leaders cultivate poised organizations that view change as new opportunities to succeed and test their mettle.
At the end of the day, leaders may be willing to take risks and hold themselves accountable. However, that willingness is not enough to ensure success. Leaders must still be proficient and have the willingness to set aside ego to select team members who are even more proficient in their respective areas of expertise. This is not an ego contest — it is a team mission to build successful organizations.
Notice I did not include “Perfect” — that is because there is no such thing. Give me the perceptive leaders capable of learning from their mistakes while resisting the distraction of reading their own press clippings when they succeed! Meanwhile, do not get a reputation as a “punk” with any of these peculiarities: paltry, panicky, pathetic, perfidious (deceitful), perverted, pessimistic, petty, petulant, pitiful, pointless, procrastinating, and puny.
Featured image courtesy of chrisinplymouth licensed via Creative Commons.