Several days ago I tweeted the following question: What do you consider to be the most important leadership character trait? Many of you responded and here are the top five answers that you gave. I have added some definition and a few additional thoughts to each answer. This is a good list-thanks for your response!
1. A Servant’s Heart-This answer came back most often. My sense is that this is about seeing your success through the success of those you lead. It is other centered leadership. People respond in powerful ways to true servant leadership.
2. A Good Listener-People want and need to feel heard. They want to know that their thoughts and contributions matter. This is a trait that often shows up in 360 reviews of people that have not mastered it yet.
3. A Learner-I have noted several times in this blog that a good leader is a lifetime learner. The day a leader stops learning is the day his or her leadership foundation begins to erode. We must especially continue to learn about how to effectively lead the next generation.
4. A Genuine Concern for Others-This trait can be expressed through #2. Listening is a great starting point for showing concern for those you lead. But I think it goes beyond that. There needs to be actions that demonstrate concern-both in a person’s work and their personal life.
5. Grit-This one intrigued me. Ken Cochrum tweeted this in response and he defined it this way-“The determination to persevere in small daily tasks that add up to big changes over time.” This trait may be more true today than ever in light of the complexities of 21st century leadership.
What else would you add?