Welcome back to my blog, sorry to have been away so long since my last post. I’ve been quite busy in the Social Media arena and Google+ Communities, discussing and learning about Leadership. There is a common topic that is recurrent, namely, the traits / characteristics / hallmarks of a great leader. Thousands of words have been spent on describing what makes a leader special. I have no intention of reinventing the wheel but I would like to simply share with you the image that came to mind when I approached the subject.
One day, thinking about what makes a leader exceptional, I sat down and jotted down all the words that I believe are the vital traits of a leader. As you will see, very peculiarly, every word I thought of begins with the letter “P”. I didn’t do it on purpose and I don’t have a clue why this happened. I’m still trying to figure out why this particular letter is so prominent in this topic…any suggestions are welcome. Perhaps the letter “P” has some positive qualities that science has yet to discover.
Seriously though, let me show you what I consider to be the 7 Hallmarks or the 7 P’s that I feel are the Seeds that make up the Pod of Leadership.
Professionalism ~~ Being professional has many angles. It means having an extensive knowledge of your vocation, environment and associates. It also involves being diplomatic yet engaging with your team. Being professional shows people you mean business, however, they must also sense that you are approachable, open and honest.
Participation ~~ Taking an active role in the development of your team is not to be taken lightly. Many leaders are too detached from the reality of their associates. How can you expect to guide your team from the comfort of the VIP box? Be on the playing field to experience the tribulations and triumphs of your team.
Perseverance ~~ There will be times when tasks will be uphill struggles with impossible deadlines that you confront either abandoned to yourself or having to work in unison with your team. Whatever the situation, perseverance, determination and sheer doggedness will get you to the finishing line. Even if you fall down 7 times, get up 8 and never give up.
Patience ~~ The saying “patience is a virtue” has a higher meaning for a leader. In today’s frantic and chaotic world, having patience can seem like a luxury you can’t afford. Nonetheless, with proper planning, a good understanding of your team’s strengths and vulnerabilities, plus, having a clear idea of your goal can award you patience. A task well done means it doesn’t have to be corrected or repeated and you can move on to the next one. Pause, refocus and apply your best efforts into single-tasking. Too many undertakings at once will only force you to rush, head first, right into a brick wall. Rushing and pressuring your team only propagates confusion and mistakes. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Presence ~~ This is a complex hallmark that every true leader has to master. You must be present for your team yet maintain a certain distance to allow people to work. Don’t look over their shoulders or monitor them every five minutes. For me, presence means staying in sight on the sideline when the team is making progress. However, when the road ahead gets rocky it’s time for the leader to come out of the shadows and light the path.
Purpose ~~ Without purpose a leader is lost; it means having a direction and destination. A leader has to set an objective, map out the best route and execute the plan. Most importantly, if your purpose is clear then your team will inevitably trust you and instinctively follow your lead.
Pathos ~~ I left this most special quality for last because I feel it is the most important. Please don’t confuse pathos with passion. I intentionally left out passion from my list because it is the essence of life; it encompasses both pleasure and pain. Without passion you might as well not exist.
Pathos, on the other hand, is how we transmit that passion to the people we engage with. You have to believe in yourself, your team and your mission…and that belief has to be communicated to the world.
Pathos is the envoy of your passions
…and what encapsulates all the other qualities that make up your Pod of P’s – The Seeds of Leadership.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you would like the accompanying artwork for your training lab, check out the links below.