Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Pyramid of Great Leadership Traits

Recently, I had the pleasure of exchanging emails with David Henke [linkedin] about leadership where he kindly sent me slides on Learning to Lead [google] for his talk at UC Santa Barbara [youtube]. The slides listed leadership behaviors of 3 leaders: Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs, and David Henke. This is a part of the Great Leadership blog series.

To help myself better understand the behaviors, I summarized them using basic human traits - see categorized traits at end of post:

Leadership = ((Trust, Focus, Execution, Passion, Wisdom, Vision) + (Compassion, Openness)) * (Influence, Inspiration, Impact)

Many leadership behaviors are based on building trust, which does seem obvious if you think about it as trust is fundamental to anything else. But if you look closely, trust is and can only be built with compassion and openness, including open communication [amanet].

To further understand how each trait relates to each other, I placed those basic traits in a pyramid that I will call "The Pyramid of Great Leadership Traits".

I believe openness is the core foundation, followed by compassion, that everything else builds on top of, which eventually leads to wisdom and vision. By being open, we can share and communicate with each other, and only then, the door to compassion will open. Once we feel compassion and want to help each other to be happier, then trust is formed. With trust, it increases our ability to focus, execute, and collaborate. Without trust, the focus would be poor. Then comes passion, which as we know, that drives us and therefore significantly increases our productivity and happiness. With all combined and experience, it forms a basis to attain wisdom that allows us to achieve a vision. Lastly, knowing what needs to be done, a leader must be able to influence others by inspiring them to work together to make that vision a reality (impact).

Now that you know the steps to being a great leader, I hope that you will strive to be one as well starting with openness and compassion. I think everyone should be a leader of his/her own life and be humbled to follow others as well. What do you think? ^_^

Categorized Leadership Traits:

  • Honesty/integrity
  • Compassion/Innovation (bottom up)
    • Circulate amongst the troops
    • Encourage innovation
    • Run the company like a small company
    • Lead by being led
  • Relationship
    • Build strong alliances
    • Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eras (tell me who you run with and I will tell you who you are)
  • Growth/Compassion/Openness
    • There are three kinds of feedback, positive, negative, and none. Only one of them is bad
    • Never act out of vengeance or spite [as they hinder trust/growth]
  • Influence/Inspiration
    • Master the art of public speaking
    • Influence people through conversation and storytelling
    • Persuade rather than coerce
    • Be impeccable with your word

  • Set goals and be results oriented
  • Know your DNA
  • Never forget what you already have (core assets)
  • What get’s measured gets fixed
  • Quality, schedule, features, pick 2
  • Exercise a strong hand (be decisive)
  • Don’t worry about the mule being blind, just load the wagon
  • You are only as good as your lieutenants
  • Passion for products/services
  • Passion for employees [Compassion]
  • Do your best

  • Be master of the paradox
  • The code doesn’t lie (where there’s one bug there are many; a feature is a bug in a tuxedo)
  • Don’t assume anything
  • Emotional Intelligence / Compassion
    • Have the courage to handle unjust criticism
    • Don’t take anything personally
  • Preach a vision and continually reaffirm it
  • Management is always the problem [loss of vision and/or poor focus/execution]
  • Long term vision, short term execution

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