Which Natural Leadership Qualities Do You Have?
The great leaders of our time have the ability to make important things happen. Yet they have also shown remarkable human qualities as well. Abraham Lincoln is one example that comes to mind. Nelson Mandela is another. You may also have many of these social qualities that are now regarded as necessary attributes of character as well as competence for today’s leaders of organizations, countries and communities.
The authors of the groundbreaking 2015 book Mastering Leadership, Bob Anderson and Bill Adams say that to be a better leader is to be a better person. I totally agree with this. Most people have wonderful human qualities that are now widely regarded as leadership virtues. Such as the ability to genuinely connect with and establish caring relationships with both individuals and groups of people. The innate social bonding it takes to work together for a common purpose and a common good.
Traditional leadership skills for managerial roles still hold true, such as business acumen, strategic thinking, communication skills, decisiveness and accountability. But the outdated concept of ‘Soft Skills’ is now surpassed by the undeniable and statistically validated fact that relationship skills and task focus need to be well balanced. Being self-aware, establishing caring connections, being collaborative and team-oriented are the human and leadership assets we all need today.
Here are some of these positive characteristics that are seeds of great leadership. Which of them do you already have?
Natural Leadership Quality
- I can show initiative
- I can listen carefully to others
- I can speak with care, considering how others hear me
- I ask for feedback on how I’m doing
- I am good at asking questions
- I am open to having difficult, important or emotional conversations
- I can see the strengths in others
- I don’t expect you or anyone else to be perfect
- I am tolerant and patient with myself and with others
- I give other people lots of thank you’s or praise
- I am open to hearing ideas that are different to mine
- I can inspire or excite others with my ideas
- I have empathy and compassion for others
- I can speak up clearly about what I think or feel
- I can take the first step
- I can connect well with others
- I have optimism
- I have a positive attitude
- I am action oriented
- I feel a sense of purpose in my life and think about the difference I want to make in the world
- I have trusting relationships outside my family
- I have clear boundaries in my personal relationships
- I am a team player and am good at working with others
- I am good at getting stuff done
- I am aware of and can manage my emotions
- I am aware of my personality style compared to others
- I can adapt my style to others when needed
- I am always keen to learn and develop myself
- I walk my own talk
- I consider consequences before acting
- I keep my promises
- I can think big picture as well as the weeds
- I can be decisive even if I don’t’ have enough, or confusing information
- I do a good job of my work-life balance
- I am OK with changing things up
- I show caring and compassion for others
- I show concern for my neighborhood or community
- I show concern for what’s happening in the world
There are many other positive attributes that most people have that are potential leadership qualities. Whether you have a manager title or not, these qualities are very much about people skills. They are also about moving things forward in a positive way. There are no MBA’s for this. No diploma’s either. All you have to do is look inwards to your own character, your own style, your own behavior to see the leadership in you and to see how each and every one of us can make a positive difference in the world simply by being more human.