Traits of a Leader

The Most Important Leadership Trait

Bob Bergeth asked:

One leadership quality, above all, motivates and inspires men and women into action. Do you know the one key trait that carries the day and ensures your success in business? Do you have it? Can you recognize it in others? All great leaders have this quality. Read about it next.

Years ago, I attended a seminar on leadership. The seminar leader offered a significant amount of cash to anyone who would come up to the podium and speak about leadership for ten minutes. No one took him up on his offer. Would you have? His challenge motivated me to want to learn and practice all I could about leadership.

The one indispensable quality all leaders must have is the ability to make decisions quickly. This one quality separates great leaders from lesser ones.

Leadership is a thing by itself. It requires far more than ability.

You can acquire and learn leadership skills but you must invite yourself into it. You are not born with it.

Dwight Eisenhower liked to show how the best leaders functioned. He would stretch a rope across a table. Then he would push the rope. Of course, the rope crumbled. Then he would pull the rope and it would follow his hand movement. That he said is what great leaders do.

In business and industry, network and MLM marketing, leadership is the one key trait that carries the day and ensures your success.

To be a great network-marketing or business leader, you must know, go and show the way. Leaders know where they are going and how to get there. They show the way. Their example inspires others to follow them.

A leader decides quickly; that is the one indisputable lesson of leadership and the first lesson one must learn about leadership.

Leaders must make decisions like referees. They must decide now. When an infraction occurs, the ref must make a decision then. A referee cannot always be right and neither can a leader. Referees will not have a job long if they cannot make decisions quickly.

Quickness is not wisdom, but it is a great advantage. A quick start wins many races.

People have more confidence in leaders who makes up their minds quickly. The fear is that those that deliberate will change their mind when they think of another idea.

Leaders must plan. They must think. However, they must not be like Rodin’s thinker sitting still and absorbed in reflection.

When an emergency comes, leaders take charge. They must give the orders. They must not sit and consider. Consider the great hurricane that swept through Louisiana. Look at all the inaction by government officials at a time of great peril to the people. The leaders were all missing in action; there was no timely action taken.

It has always been an emergency or a danger that has created our great leaders. While others wondered, looked, feared, hoped and wished, the real leader told people what to do and took charge of the situation.

I still have a vivid picture of Boris Yeltsin standing on that tank in Moscow staring down the military and attempted coup in 1991. Who can ever forget? We need more leaders that are decisive and bold.

Leaders are never one of those pro and con people. A leader never says maybe; never says perhaps or possibly I may. A leader cannot use these noncommittal phrases.

A leader never shifts the burden of decision to a committee; leaders never shift the decision to a conference or a commission. Why have leaders if a committee is to do the work? You had better believe Boris Yeltsin did not call a meeting at the time of Russia’s great crisis.

If the people you lead say, “Our Leader doesn’t know his own mind,” then at that moment their respect ceases. When respect is gone, there is nothing left.

If leaders are torn and pulled from right to left, and left to right, they cease to be leaders at all. This indecisiveness does not inspire loyalty. It breeds contempt instead.

Leaders know what needs doing. They instruct and assist others but do not go about, like a beggar with a hat, collecting the opinions of others. These are opinion-collectors! The political world is full of them; and there are too many in the world of business.

A true leader asks for advice, when he has time to think; but he never asks advice in a crisis. He acts. That is what leaders must do.

Leaders, in a word, are people of will. They must have a very strong will to survive and be effective.

They must say no and not quite possibly. Leaders must say Yes and Not if nothing occurs to prevent.

What leaders take up and do they must hold fast and see it through.

Indecision and procrastination clog the mind. Decide quickly to either, get a thing done, or leave it alone.

Above all else, in times of stress, leaders must be deciders. They must be in command and be decisive.

Leaders can be arbitrary all right, as arbitrary as a referee in the face of a hostile crowd.

Leaders must be hard, yes, as hard as a colonel on the field of battle must be.

Leaders must be fair, yes, as a judge must be when deciding issues of life and death.

Leaders must stand fast, yes, whether others think they are right or not. When a fight is on, what others think must not sway them.

Leaders must be loyal to their own judgment. That is what brings them to the top as a leader.

An important leadership tip then is to decide quickly. Speed is essential to leadership.


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