December 8, 2007

Leadership Traits

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What traits do successful leaders have than makes them great? Yes there are the legendary heroes like Jack Welch and Sam Walton and Lou Gerstner, Jr. but what about your team lead or manager. What leadership traits do they display? In my experience everyday leaders display the following qualities

- People Leadership: The ability to motivate, influence and persuade people. In a people business (and IT is a people business) if you don't get the team behind you - it's going to be a short journey.

- Courage: You have the courage to do what you believe in. If you are intimidated by culture, job security, repercussions or reputation - credibility is compromised sooner than later.

- Foresight: I am stuck in the trenches and cannot see beyond my cube wall. But I expect my leaders to articulate a vision for my team, my company and me. I want to know what is the destination and where we are on that journey.

- Role Model: A leader is under the microscope - most of the time. Each comment, action and meeting is scrutinized. After all - you are our leader and we have certain expectations from you. Polish, presentation, tact, honesty, integrity - no one said it was easy!

Some traits I have observered in leaders I have worked with. I am sure I missed a few - look forward to your thoughts on this subject.

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