What makes a leader stand out from the crowd?

Over the years I have met many, many people that are considered, or consider themselves, leaders. I have seen and heard may words used to describe these leaders including fearless, charismatic, focused, intuitive, thoughtful, assertive, aggressive, confident and eccentric. While I can honestly say that I have never seen any one person with all of these qualities, they do, in my humble opinion, characterise much what makes an outstanding leader.

Personally, I try to live up to seven qualities:

  1. Communication
    I believe strong communication is key. Good communications is required to keep your team informed, motivated and focused on your vision for the future.
  2. Honesty
    I try to be completely honest with everyone around me. For me, this is about personal integrity. I firmly believe that compromising one’s integrity is the start of a very slippery downward slide.
  3. Vision
    I believe that a leader must look beyond the immediate and know where his business is going. This is a basic quality that is needed to move the company forward.
  4. Pragmatism
    There is no point in being indecisive. I believe that it is important to make a decision based on the information available and then drive it through. The key to being a successful pragmatist is to ensure the best possible information is available.
  5. Motivation
    I believe that a good leader must always be motivated to achieve, even against the odds. A good leader must also continually motivate his team. This is especially important in crisis situations as morale can be hardest hit. It is the good leaders that are able to motivate their teams to continue to fight against the odds.
  6. Consistency
    I try to be consistent in my approach and my expectations. I believe that leaders are ineffective when they are inconsistent.
  7. Open to criticism
    I believe that there are problem solvers and problem identifiers. I try to be a problem solver and I try to listen and act on constructive criticism. After all, I don’t know all the answers and I am certainly not perfect.

What qualities do you try to live up to? 

About Peter Borner

Peter is an entrepreneur and successful business leader. Currently leading a consultancy firm specialising in technical diligence for M&A and advising global firms on IT consolidation and migration to consumption based costing through the use of Cloud Technologies.

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