In our past blog posts, we have looked into the qualities of a successful leader; and the behaviors we find relatable with good leadership. Today, we want to share another important subject: positive leadership traits.
What are leadership traits?
It basically refers to personal qualities that shape effective leaders.
There are many traits successful leaders have. We have discussed many of them through this blog. Of course, there are some positive leadership traits shared by most, if not all, successful leaders such as, honesty, focus and commitment.
Positive leadership traits
Have you hear about Lou Holtz? Some people love him, others may not care for him (especially if you’re not a Notre Dame fan). For those who don’t know, Lou Holtz was a very successful (mostly college) football coach. He is probably best known for coaching Notre Dame from 1986 to 1996. During that time he lead Notre Dame to an unmatched record and a National Championship.
Coach Holtz credits much of his success to the lessons he learned from his mentors. He also credits it to a philosophy he honed during his early years of coaching. While Holtz has many beliefs, he boils the philosophy down to three key points: Trust, Commitment and Care.
I have heard coach Holtz speak. He is very motivational. I recently watched an interview with him on a Golf Channel show called, “Feherty”.
I was pleasantly surprised that coach Holtz’s philosophy to success so closely mirrors the values we believe in at our company. You see, we have said for twenty years that there are six core values to success in our business – Trust, Commitment, Responsibility, Care, Growth and Enjoyment.
More specifically, we say:
- Be trustworthy
- Commit ourselves to each other, our company and the industries we serve
- Act responsibly
- Care about others
- Grow every day
- Have fun
We try to apply these values in every action we take and every interaction we have. We believe that doing so leads to success.
Coach Holtz at least agrees with Trust, Commitment and Care – they are his cornerstone values.
Communication in leadership
There are other leadership traits that we commonly think of when we think of great leaders such as communication, selflessness and humility. We have discussed in previous blogs that we often overlook the ability to communicate with others and lead.
Leaders become leaders because they are often smart, well-liked, able to set and achieve goals and able to get a group (or team) of people to work together toward a common mission.
One leadership trait we don’t talk about enough is sharing. Leaders who share their knowledge, their experience and their goals are the most successful leaders.
I recently read an article about the importance of sharing as a leadership trait and thought I’d share my thoughts on it.
What I really liked about this article is it draws attention to something I truly believe – that great leaders are not great because of who they are, but what their team is. Great leaders encourage and embrace a culture of sharing. They don’t hold their knowledge close to the vest and keep others from gaining it. Rather, they share that knowledge and in doing so, encourage their teammates to do the same.
The result? A team of people who trust each other, are confident in their ability to do their job well and an industry leading organization meeting the challenges of its customers.
What kind of leader are you? Do you share openly and honestly with your team? Or are you concerned about sharing certain knowledge – afraid that doing so will make you less valuable to the team?
I challenge you to give some thought to this concept and implement it in your business. I think you’ll be glad you did.