12 Most Ultimate “U” Ultraisms of Uber-Great Leaders

12 Most Ultimate “U” Ultraisms of Uber-Great Leaders

“Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.” ~ Les Brown

Successful people are self-motivated, are willing to set lofty yet attainable goals, and are unstoppable in their pursuit of those goals. Great leaders take it a step further by infusing entire organizations with that same attitude.

Thanks for joining me in another installment of the 12 Most ABCs of Leadership series. It is highly UNlikely that we will make it through this post without a healthy dose of “UN” adjectives. Take a moment and guess which ones you think will make the list — and then read along to see if they did. Make sure you add new ones in the comments below.

1. Ultimate

James Ramsey Ullman said, “It is the ultimate wisdom of the mountains that a man is never more a man than when he is striving for what is beyond his grasp.” Great leaders encourage their organizations to always be reaching for goals just beyond their grasp.

2. Unbiased

Great leaders recognize we live in a global community, and they do not support prejudicial treatment against anyone in that community on the basis of race, age, gender, or any other demographic identifier.

These unbiased leaders are also capable of presiding over organizational disputes without playing favorites between team members.

3. Unbreakable

Ah, the life of an entrepreneur! All leaders require “thick skin” and a “can-do” attitude. However, entrepreneurs wear a lot of hats and take-on a lot of stress and risk while knowing they will have to beat the odds every day just to keep the doors open.

Leaders have an unbreakable spirit regardless of the circumstances.

4. Uncanny

People frequently use the word “uncanny” when describing great athletes. They have uncanny skills or leadership or court/field vision. Great leaders’ uncanny attributes carry their organizations to victory.

5. Uncompromising

When you are put in a position of authority, you have heightened opportunity to play in the “gray areas” when it comes to ethics and core values. Great leaders are often great compromisers when it comes to managing and setting expectations. But they are uncompromising when it comes to values and integrity.

6. Unconventional

There is safety and stability in remaining conventional. Of course, I always like the “adapt or die” mentality, and gone are the days of retiring with the same company after 25 years of risk-free service. Unconventional leaders see the world in varying degrees of possibility — and there are infinite possibilities to be converted into opportunities!

These leaders buck the status quo to take a chance on “what could be.”

7. Undisturbed

I like both “undisturbed” and “unperturbed” for this leadership list. Heck, let’s go with yet another one — unflappable. Be like Kuzco from Emperor’s New Groove…

Pacha: Uh-oh.
Kuzco: Don’t tell me. We’re about to go over a huge waterfall.
Pacha: Yep.
Kuzco: Sharp rocks at the bottom?
Pacha: Most likely.
Kuzco: Bring it on.

Regardless of the circumstances, great leaders keep their cool and do not panic.

8. Undogmatic

To be dogmatic is to make statements, or have beliefs, that are more based upon assumptions rather than “empirical observation.” Circumstances can deteriorate when dogmatic leaders then position those statements and beliefs as if they are above all challenges.

Great leaders depend upon their personal observation as well as accept the observations of others. Decisions should be able to withstand challenges. This isn’t meant to encourage a poisonous and divisive work environment! Challenges are made with the ultimate goal of benefiting the organization and every member of that organization.

9. Unpretentious

Pretentious leaders “puff up” their importance whether they deserve it or not. They preen in front of the cameras when they succeed, and they frequently point the finger to place blame when they fail. Unpretentious leaders deflect the praise and redirect it to their teammates and organizations when they succeed, and they accept personal responsibility when they fail.

10. Unstoppable

I added “unstoppable” to this leadership post in honor of a great online friend: Rebel Brown. I hope programs like Unstoppable U impact the next generation of unstoppable leaders and encourage those young leaders to make a positive difference in the world!

11. Unsullied

Leaders need to have impeccable credibility. Credibility starts with having an unsullied reputation. Great leaders do not have skeletons in the closet or inappropriate pictures floating around the Twitterverse.

12. Unsurpassed

Amber Senti said, “The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable and grace unlike any other, still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back.” Great leaders would benefit by posting this quote in their offices or on a mirror they view each morning. We should strive to be unsurpassed in our excellence and achievements; however, we should also strive to remain humble in all circumstances.

Servant leaders instill employee/client loyalty and “walk the walk” that encourages teams to go the extra mile with delivery and effort.

Now it is your turn — be unrelentingly unrivaled in your contributions to this edition of the 12 Most ABCs of Leadership series! Meanwhile, do not let any of these attributes be YOUR undoing as a leader: Unaccessible, unaccommodating, unadaptable, unadvisable, uncertain, unconvincing, uncool, uncooperative, uncouth, undependable, underhanded, and unjust.

Featured image courtesy of TooFarNorth licensed via Creative Commons.

Photo illustration work: Paul Biedermann, re:DESIGN

Brian Vickery


I love my wife and two daughters. I am blessed in that I also love my job as a principal and EVP of the Rocky Mountain Region for Mantis Technology Group. I am very excited about our Pulse Analytics SaaS social media monitoring solution for measuring consumer sentiment and supporting social engagement. I enjoy teaching and coaching. I graduated UT-Austin.

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Thanks for the great list on leadership! I love number 6! 

Martin D Redmond
Martin D Redmond

My favorite is Undisturbed.  Panic, and anxiety at the top can permeate throughout an organization. No bueno!


May I offer "ubiquitous"? Great leadership is felt everywhere within an organization...


@jennykaypollock Thanks, Jenny - #6 definitely drives some of the best innovation this world has ever seen. Those are the leaders that achieve "step change" (versus gradual change) in the way we think and do things!

They are disruptors...


@Milaspage I do find the first one - Ultimate - to be the most inspirational in the list, Mila. Thank you for your awesome support of this series throughout.


@Martin D Redmond We've probably all experienced at least one organization that had panicky leaders. Those types are also the ones generally quick to point fingers and throw co-workers/"competing" internal organizations under the bus when something goes wrong.

That's why I think networking and continuing to work on your professional craft are paramount. You need to gravitate to people who share your values and are willing to put the team ahead of the individual accolades.

Thanks, Martin.


@kdbelmonte That actually made my original list, Kelly...but got trimmed down. I agree with you. A leader's personality and values are felt throughout the organization. They are PRESENT!


@susansilver I gotta get busy on my last post - might be doing the typical combining of XYZ...with a few extras thrown in, of course.