You ever had that amazing experience of working with a leader who just attracts your attention instantly with their words and, even more importantly, their actions? If you have, consider yourself lucky, because let's face it, not all leaders out there are cut from the same cloth when it comes to being effective. Unfortunately, a lot of people in leadership positions don't quite have what it takes, and that can lead to a lot of people just punching the clock to make a buck, rather than truly making a difference.
Way back in 1937, a guy named Napoleon Hill wrote this book called "Think and Grow Rich" (Which I’ve re-read on multiple occasions) after studying 500 self-made millionaires from his time. In that book, Hill lays out 11 key traits of great leaders. But here's the kicker – these traits he talked about back then are still totally on point in 2023, and beyond!
If you haven't cracked open that book yet, seriously, give it a read. Especially if you wanna position yourself in a leadership role in any way. So, from the book, Think & Grow Rich, here are the 11 attributes of kick-butt leadership as Napoleon Hill saw it.
1. UNWAVERING COURAGE based upon knowledge of self and one’s occupation. No Follower wishes to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence and courage. No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader.
2. SELF-CONTROL. People who cannot control themselves can never control others. Self-control sets a mighty example for one’s followers, which the more intelligent will emulate.
3. A KEEN SENSE OF JUSTICE. Without a sense of fairness and justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of their followers.
4. DEFINITENESS OF DECISION. People who waiver in decisions show that they are not sure of themselves. They cannot lead successfully.
5. DEFINITE OF PLANS. The successful leader must plan the work, and work the plan. A leader who moves by guesswork without practical, definite plans is comparable to a ship without a rudder. Sooner or later it will land on the rocks.
6. THE HABIT OF DOING MORE THAN PAID FOR. One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of the leaders, to do more than they require of their followers.
7. A PLEASING PERSONALITY. No slovenly, careless person can become a successful leader. Leadership calls for respect. Followers will not respect leaders who do not scare highly on all factors of a pleasing personality.
8. SYMPATHY AND UNDERSTANDING. Successful leaders must be in sympathy with their followers. Moreover, they must understand them and their problems
9. MASTERY OF DETAIL. Successful leadership calls for mastery of details of the leadership position.
10. WILLINGNESS TO ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY. Successful leaders must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistakes and shortcomings of their followers. If they try to shift this responsibility, they will not remain leaders. If followers make mistakes and become incompetent, it is the leader who has failed.
11. COOPERATION. Successful leaders must understand and apply the principle of cooperative effort and be able to induce followers to do the same. Leadership calls for power, and power calls for cooperation.
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