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Leadership and Life

by Miki Saxon

bowl-of-cherriesThe most overused and abused words in almost any language are ‘lead’ and its close cousins ‘leader’ and ‘leadership’.

People are constantly exhorted to “step up and be leaders” and to “cultivate leadership skills” and therein lies my difficulty.

I googled a number of places and here is a partial list of leadership traits; I’m sure you can add many more.

  1. Adaptability
  2. Authenticity
  3. Commitment
  4. Communication
  5. Conscientiousness
  6. Decisiveness
  7. Emotional stability
  8. Empathy
  1. Energy
  2. Enthusiasm
  3. Honesty
  4. Integrity
  5. Judgment
  6. Loyalty
  7. Self-assurance
  8. Warmth

Do you see the same problem I see?

Ignoring how they are interpreted, these are the traits that allow people to be decent human beings, no matter what they do in life.

Of course, the interpretation is colored by ideology and MAP (mindset, attitude, philosophy™), sometimes so highly colored that a person on the ‘other side’ won’t recognize them—politics and religion are two areas where this is most obvious—but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

If you prefer to see developing these and other ‘leadership traits’ as laying the basis for your emerging as a leader that’s fine, as long as the development isn’t contingent on your advancement to a certain position.

Ever wonder if there is one trait beyond all others that leaders of all kinds have and is obvious in every situation?

Join me Thursday for the answer.

Image credit: lepiaf.geo on flickr

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