12 Most Quirky “Q” Qualities of Great Leaders
“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.” ~ Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa had astounding wisdom and insight to go along with her selfless pursuits for a more caring world. She is the epitome of a person qualified to do anything… with nothing!
Thanks for joining me on this journey through the 12 Most ABC’s of Leadership. The letter “Q” definitely provided a quandary! I look forward to your comments and additions to the list (good luck because there are not too many “Q” adjectives left)!
To be quaint is to have an old-fashioned charm. Did you know an “obsolete definition” of quaint is to be wise and skilled? Personally, I like leaders with a dash of old-fashioned and a healthy dose of skills and wisdom to bring to the organization.
Passion and energy can take you far, but at some point it helps to be qualified to do the job. In a highly competitive world, qualified leaders have “been there, done that,” and they can guide a company through the highs and lows.
OK, we can put the checkmark next to “find a qualified leader.” However, company success does not come from the hands of a single individual. Great leaders quickly act as qualifiers to build competent teams to lead different aspects of their companies.
Companies can be capsized by a loss in credibility. Leaders recognize that producing quality in regards to product development, services, or simply customer services is crucial to maintain a sterling brand reputation.
I will always favor quality over quantity, but great leaders are also outstanding producers. They measure themselves by their own production as well as the effectiveness of their organizations in producing great products/services/content.
Have you ever met a great leader who was NOT driven? Leaders have quenchless curiosities and desires for further successes. When they reach goals, they push the boundaries to identify new goals to achieve.
Leaders need to be quick to identify both threats and opportunities. They then quickly move from assessment to action to either defuse the threats or take advantages of the opportunities.
True leaders know how to “be still” in the space between moments, in order to make good judgment calls. We want quick leaders to identify threats and opportunities, but it is that assessment phase — where quiescent leaders can “be still” and avoid panic or blind exuberance — that is crucial to success.
R. Shannon nailed it when he said, “The ability to keep a cool head in an emergency, maintain poise in the midst of excitement, and to refuse to be stampeded are true marks of leadership.”
Lao Tsu stated “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” Quiet leaders set the vision, and they may hand-select the management team to execute that vision. However, they let their teams take ownership of that vision to encourage personal accountability to achieve the teams’ goals.
Some of the best leaders bring their own quirks and style. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates definitely did things “their way” on their way to building powerhouse brands. And we will never forget “Iron Mike” Ditka or Bill “the Hoodie” Belichick whose personalities aided their successes on the football field. Warren Buffett is one of the richest men on the planet, yet he still lives in the house he bought in 1958 for $31,500!
These quirky leaders forged their own paths, and their convictions compelled others to follow them.
OK, quixotic can mean to be impractical, impulsive and unpredictable. However, I am going for the chivalrous and visionary “quixotic” qualities for the purposes of this post! Leaders are honorable and courteous while still boldly leading organizations to live out their vision.
Whenever I write a 12 Most Leadership post, I cast about the internet looking for great quotes to capture your attention. None of those inspirational quotes come from micro-managers or gossipy corporate ladder climbers! Quotable leaders separate themselves from the pack with their visions, their passions, their generosity, and their successes. In some cases, their most quotable quotes came as a result of their most spectacular failures. We only remember those quotes because they learned from their failures and continued to pursue success. Aspire to become a quotable leader!
Thanks to all of you who have generously shared this 12 Most ABC’s of Leadership series. I also appreciate your comments on each of the posts and in your tweets. Meanwhile, do NOT get quirked out with these qualities: Quack, quadratic (square), quaggy (having the nature of a quagmire), quaky, qualmish, quarrelsome, quartered (as in “drawn and quartered” after exhibiting poor leadership), Quayle-ish (Dan Quayle sure knew how to stick his foot in his mouth), queasy, questionable, quibbling, and quizzical.
Featured image courtesy of chrisinplymouth via Creative Commons.