20 Traits Successful Leaders Know and Apply

I recently posted this quote by Brian Tracy on LinkedIn: “Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” Several people commented, but this one stuck out to me:

“Leaders also tend to ignore problems until they are forced to confront them by the "followers" who pressure them to accountability. More importantly, leaders also create problems for "followers" to address. Also, leaders themselves are not leaders without "followers".”

It would be easy to talk about the difference between being a leader and being put in a position of power (not the same thing). But what I’d like to do is give the top twenty things (in no particular order) successful leaders, regardless of title or position, know and apply:

  1. When to lead.
  2. When (and how) to follow.
  3. When to get out of the way.
  4. Don’t talk about what happened until after the crisis is solved.
  5. Clear expectations include a goal, a path and appropriate guidance.
  6. Why someone did something cannot be observed. I must ask.
  7. Disagreement is a necessary part of success.
  8. Disagreements need to be respectful to be productive.
  9. My emotions are my responsibility.
  10. Reality is a conglomerate of the perceptions.  My perception is only one of many.
  11. Having tough conversations is never fun. Gossiping usually is. One helps the other hurts.
  12. Collective success is an individual responsibility.
  13. Effective communication has four parts: Hearing, listening, understanding and acting. Miss one and the communication fails.
  14. What you heard is more important than what I said.
  15. Success is always on the other side of fear.
  16. Fear will keep me mediocre.
  17. Bravery is moving forward in spite of fear not without it.
  18. Never stop learning and growing.
  19. Apologize when I’m wrong.
  20. Trust my followers and catch them when they stumble.  

I always want to be part of the solution and that means I have to be willing to lead, follow and get out of the way as appropriate. Do any of these leadership traits strike a chord with you? Do you disagree with any of them?  What important ones did I leave out?

As always, I wish you the MOST from your potential!

Doc Robyn

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Dr. Robyn Odegaard (aka “Doc Robyn”) is internationally known motivational speaker, executive coach and corporate trainer. As CEO of Champion Performance Development, she works with executives, professionals, athletes, and coaches to help them achieve excellence in all aspects of life through active leadership, powerful teamwork, effective communication, Productive Conflict™ and professional disagreement skills. She is the founder of the Stop The Drama! Campaign and author of the books Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams and The Ultimate Guide to Handling Every Disagreement Every Time. To work with her one-on-one, have her present to your team, request a custom workshop or invite her to speak at your event, please call 302-307-3091 or email her at DocRobyn@ChampPerformance.com.

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