Traits of a Leader

Eleven Essential E's for Achieving Success

Prof.M.S.Rao asked:

“Everyone thinks of changing the world. But no one thinks of changing himself”, Tolstoy.

Personality development is a cluster of various traits such as attitude, aptitude, ability, awareness, character, courage, confidence, creativity, logical thinking and analysis, reasoning abilities, sense of humor, self analysis, self-motivation, self-discipline and self-confidence. There is a no clear cut definition related to the concept of personality development. To put it precisely, it is a combination and confluence of various virtues and traits that enable a person, to survive, sustain and succeed in his personal, professional and social life.

Communication skill is one of the major traits that influence the success of any individual. These days, lot of stress is laid on this skill as it is a sure shot to success in the corporate world. Communication skill consists of both verbal and non verbal language. The verbal language consists of speaking, listening, writing and reading and the non verbal language constitutes body language and modulation. One can communicate effectively and efficiently by carefully articulating both verbal and non verbal language.


There are 11 essential Es everyone needs to be equipped with such as Energy, Enthusiasm, Expertise, Emotional Intelligence, Endurance, Edge, Excellence, Example, Empathy, Efficacy and Enterprise. Everyone needs to posses higher levels of energy both mentally as well as physically. There should be a strong enthusiasm towards his chosen area of interest. Effective interest in his field will make him as the master of his own trade or field thereby crowning him with third E – Expertise. It will make him rise from the rest. Fourthly, it is the Emotional Intelligence which is nothing but getting oneself mentally and emotionally balanced. It also includes the ability to get along well with others effectively and efficiently. It is also known as people skills. The fifth E is the Endurance. It is the ability to sustain the setbacks and shocks in one’s life. It also includes anticipating and expecting problems and being unmoved and undeterred by any kind of the threats arising out of external forces and factors. The sixth is the Edge. It is nothing but the ability to take extreme unfavorable and unpleasant decisions even though it causes displeasure and discomfort for himself and for others. It is rightly said, “If going gets tough the tough gets going”.

The seventh E is Excellence. It is the ability to put efforts to give his best without looking for perfection. It is very clear that perfection is not the yardstick one should strive for. And it is very difficult to measure the perfection perfectly.

The eight E is Example. There is a need to set personal example and motivate and inspire others. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi practiced what he preached thereby setting as a personal example for his followers to emulate. He mixed and moved with common people and understood their problems and acted according to the pulse of the people.

The ninth E is the Empathy. It is always essential to empathize with people. It is necessary to listen properly and patiently to the problems of the people by stepping into their shoes. Without empathy it is very difficult to understand and arrive at the clear cut solutions.

The tenth E is the Efficacy. It is nothing but effectiveness. It is quite opposite to efficiency. An effective person does right things and an efficient person does things rightly. An effective person believes in putting qualitative rather quantitative efforts. He is smart at optimum utilization of resources and has uncanny ability to deliver his best despite having several constraints.

And last but not the least is the ultimate eleventh E – Enterprise. He is the dynamic, fast and risk taker. He comes forward to experiment new things and is unmindful of failures and learns a lot from failures. He is adventuristic with daring and dashing attitude.

All the above eleven elements are essential for the development of a successful personality.

The human mind has vast hidden potential and man uses only 10 per cent of the potential and the rest 90 per cent remaining untapped. The one who recognizes this fact can unlock and uncork his hidden potential and transform himself from an ordinary person into an extraordinary person.


SWOT is the acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. SWOT analysis as a tool is deployed by many institutions and individuals. It is an excellent tool to capitalize on one’s strengths, overcome from weaknesses, manage the threats effectively and efficiently and exploring the opportunities.

The organizations conduct this exercise regularly so as to improve its productivity and performance. Usually the corporate planner who is also known as a strategist conducts this analysis. The companies hire an individual or a group of individuals so as to assess its strength. If internal individuals are hired to conduct this exercise they might present a rosy picture and it defeats the very purpose of this tool. The political parties also conduct it regularly and they predict and forecast the results based on this tool. The countries also resort to this exercise so as to assess its own strengths and also the weaknesses of its competing countries periodically.

The students can also adopt this tool as it can help utilize their hidden talents and channelize the same in a right direction. They can ask their trusted colleagues who are fair and dispassionate to offer their comments individually separately without consulting among their colleagues. The common characteristics which are mentioned individually without consulting can be listed separately with strengths one side and weaknesses the other side just like balance sheet. There must be a second round of requesting their trusted teachers to offer their comments and again taking the common features. There can be third round by asking their unbiased relatives to offer their comments. At the end the common characteristics has to be taken from friends, teachers and relatives and the common thread running across these three sections can be taken as the authenticated qualities. It required a lot of effort to realize their hidden potential. Accordingly the threats and opportunities can be evaluated which fall in external environment. Both the strengths and weaknesses fall in the internal environment. Whenever anybody is faced with any problems, the SWOT can be conducted with fresh mind. Usually the morning mind is fresh and if one sits for some time with cool mind any problem can be diagnosed and number of solutions can be generated.


Every individual is blessed with talents and talents are inborn whereas the skills are made and the same can be cultivated by reading, learning, practice, training and experience. Talents are god gifted and the skills are man made. Usually a successful personality is a combination of 20 per cent nature and 80 per cent nurture. If 20 per cent is innate, then the rest 80 per cent can be developed by triggering the inborn talents. Unless there is an earnest effort to realize and tap the talents then it is very difficult to develop the same. Many great leaders have become successful as they realized their talents and channelized their energies constructively, creatively, productively and fruitfully.

Reading number of books will throw light on various things and provides new ideas and information that will pave the way for creation of new concepts and models. Reading the biographies and autobiographies of successful leaders across the globe broaden the mental faculties and enhances one’s imagination levels. Right attitude, adequate skills and proper knowledge will lead to higher confidence levels.


The decisio
n determines the destiny. It is, in fact, the positive thoughts that will result into
noble actions. The actions over a period of time become habits. The healthy habits in turn will lead to positive attitude. It is like looking at the things positively. This again gives rise to aptitude which is nothing but having a specific bent of mind and inclination towards an area of activity. The character is strongly built on the aptitude of the individual. And the ultimate destiny depends on the credentials of a strong character. It has been rightly said, “You sow an action, you reap a habit. You show a habit, you reap a character. You sow a character, you reap a destiny”.


Motivational guru Zig Zigler Zig said, “97 per cent of the people live in comfort zone and 3 per cent of the people live in effective zone”. It is very difficult for any individual to come out of his comfort zone as there is no element of risk is involved in this zone. It is only a few successful persons who live continuously in effective zone and grow and evolve themselves as excellent leaders. And they continuously shift from one orbit to another orbit once they strongly feel that their effective zone becomes a comfort zone over a period of time.


The globe has become smaller due to the rapid growing technology. People should cultivate the positive attitude towards other people without parochialism. Love your mother but do not hate others’ mother. Love your religion, region, language, culture, community but do not develop hatred towards others’. Everyone has a place to live in this world. Let us learn to respect others’ cultures and values then only you can expect reciprocal response from others.


One must acquire wisdom to attain knowledge and one should acquire knowledge to attain a good personality. Ideas and ideals are powerful determining factors in the progress of a personality. Confidence and optimism are the two tools and techniques that would promote personality development. At the same time, good character and right education are the two sides of the same coin and one without the other has no meaning to a purposeful and productive life. So the secret to success lies in proper personality development. A little push in the right direction can make a big difference.

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