Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Developing Your Future Leaders Part 6... More Traits that describe Leadership

More Traits that describe Leadership

Today we have part 2 of 3 for the list of traits that describe Leadership qualities. We will look to find these in our team members, and then know which team members have these Leadership qualities within them.  Then it’s our job to help them recognize and develop these qualities.  We help them find, develop, and play to their strengths for their good, and the good of the team and company.  So, let’s get at it.

Emotional intelligence:  defined as awareness, control, and expression of ones emotions, the ability to monitor ones own emotions.  This was not on John C. Maxwell’s list, and I think it’s important enough to add it.  These people are relatively easy to find.  And… this quality cannot be taught.  It only comes through personal work, so when you find someone with emotional intelligence, take the time to see what other Leadership qualities they have.  The people you are looking for will not hesitate to volunteer how they are feeling when communicating with others.  They are able to recognize their emotional state, and therefore are not controlled by their emotions.  People who experience emotional outbursts are not generally emotionally intelligent.  Emotionally intelligent people do get upset on occasion, and they will immediately know why.

These people will be aware of their strengths and weaknesses.  They are the ones who get along with just about everyone.  They will be empathetic, and so will be able to recognize the emotional state of others.  Money will not be the main motivating factor for these people, and they will generally be very self-aware.

Focus:  defined as concentrating on one thing, pay particular attention to.  At work, we are looking for people who stay on task.  They find ways to avoid interruptions and distractions.  They do not get involved with gossip, side conversations, or phone checking.  These are the people who are always done on time, or early, and who have time to help others.

These people plan ahead.  They keep their work area clean and organized.  They may take many short breaks, which can help our brains stay on topic.  People who are focused know that multi-tasking is not really possible… we cannot concentrate on two things at once.  So… they will work on one thing with all of their attention and energy, and then when needed, they will move all of their attention and energy to the next thing.  You may see them using notes, or checklists to keep themselves on task.

Generosity:  defined as the quality of being kind and giving, willingness to give.  At work, people who are generous will often put your agenda before their own, helping you look good instead of looking for credit for themselves.  They will be the ones who share credit with their coworkers, and also share information with them.  The people you are looking for will ask if you have time to talk, instead of demanding your attention when it suits them.  They will train and mentor other workers, even when they are not asked to do so. 

Generous people will show gratitude when given something, including credit.  They will be literally generous when someone at work is collecting for charity, or someone in need.  They will be the ones who give of their time by offering to come in early or stay late when the need arises.  They will work cooperatively with other towards a common goal.  Generosity is a very difficult quality to teach, so if you find this in a team member with other Leadership qualities, help them find their way.

Initiative:  defined as the ability to follow through on a plan, the ability to assess and initiate things independently.  The people you are looking for here will be the ones who go the extra mile to get the job done.  They will volunteer for extra work, or the new task.  They also jump right to work when they get there, rather than talking to all of their coworkers before getting to work.   These people will make sure you are caught up with where they are in their project, and they will make suggestions to save money or energy.

At my work, I watch for team members who pick up trash when they see it, straighten out or fix other people’s work, hustle even though no one seems to be watching, ask if they can change or add to a routine to improve it, and keep me in the loop.  Listen for the people who ask “what if…”.  They are persistent, they intelligently as why they have to do something, and they praise others without expecting anything in return.

Collaboration:  defined as working with someone or a group to achieve something, working together in a joint effort.   People who collaborate will ask for clear expectations.  They will share credit and ideas with other team members.  They will receive from peers, and give feedback appropriately.  They state their opinions tactfully, without attacking the other people involved.  They will be careful to define problems without placing blame.  These are the people who will support group decisions, even when they are not in total agreement. 

In meetings, you might see them checking for agreement, and attempting to gain commitment from other group members.  They will check for understanding, and be sure everyone is on board as they move forward.  They will invite contributions from each and every member of the group, and do it without judgment.  You will see them happy when others get the win, and glad to be part of the group.  I find that in order to be good collaborators, people must have many of the qualities of Leadership within them, just waiting to be developed.  Being good at this takes many qualities and skills, so when you find someone who is a very good collaborator, start working with them as soon as you can.

Positive attitude:  defined as approaching life with optimism and confidence, believing that our attitude can affect the outcome.  These people are not very difficult to spot.  They see the glass as half full, they show gratitude, and they are appreciative.  They will often be very hard workers, and usually see the best in people.  They don’t often criticize others, they don’t usually get involved in gossip, and they don’t tend to complain.

The people you are looking for will accept what is, without complaint.  They will be happy to be on the team, win lose or draw.  They will often compliment others, even strangers.  They are happy for the success of those around them, and they are usually good at building relationships.  You can probably think of many more ways to spot someone who has a positive attitude.  This is one quality that is very hard, if not impossible to train… it has to come from within.  Someone who wants a positive attitude will have some personal work to do in order to achieve that goal.  This is also a very difficult, if not impossible quality for us, as Leaders, to teach.  Make an effort to find and develop other Leadership qualities in these people.

Well these posts are getting way too long.  I was going to post a 2600 word post, and I thought better of it.  This is the first half… last part tomorrow.

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