Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Leadership Jazz – 6

Here’s the final installment from Max DePree’s outstanding book titled, “Leadership Jazz.”  In this section DePree addresses the topic of what are the key attributes needed for great leadership.

Attributes of Leadership:  A Checklist

  • Integrity.  Integrity is the linchpin of leadership.
  • Vulnerability.  Vulnerability is the opposite of self-expression.
    There is no such thing as safe vulnerability.
  • Courage in relationships. Followers expect a leader to face up to tough decisions.
  • Discernment
  • Awareness of the human spirit.
  • Sense of humor.
  • Intellectual energy and curiosity.
  • Respect for the future, regard for the present, understanding of the past.
  • Predictability.  To their followers, leaders owe predictability as a human being.
  • Leaders must be calculable forces in organizations; they are not free to follow a whim.
  • Tending a vision is as difficult as conceiving one.
  • Breadth.  To borrow from Walt Whitman, leaders are people large enough to contain multitudes.
  • Comfort with ambiguity.  Healthy organizations exhibit a degree of chaos.
  • Organizations always delegate the job of dealing constructively with ambiguity to their leaders.
  • Presence.  Leaders stop—to ask and answer questions, to be patient, to listen to problems, to seek the nuance, to follow up a lead.
  • Leaders stand alone, take the heat, bear the pain, tell the truth.”

How’s your assessment related to the above checklist?

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