05 Jul 2011

Your Most Important Leadership Attribute

I love my LinkedIn discussion groups. Groups of like-minded individuals from around the world discussing (often far more articulately than I can!) topics that interest them; for me that topic is most often leadership.

One of the members of the Center for Creative Leadership group, Sarandeep Singh asked:

‘What is one KEY attribute, that you would look up to in a “Leader”… and why?’

 I love this discussion because it highlights to me how difficult it is to be a leader for many – we all want so many different things! Some very compelling arguments for attributes such as integrity, creativity, vision and authenticity. All of these attributes were worthy of my one key attribute – but the discussion forced me to think about the leaders that I have worked for and consider what was the difference between the good and the truly inspirational.

My No. 1 – The drive and the desire to make something / someone better.

I can’t disagree with integrity, creativity, passion or vision (particularly when they are written about so articulately – some truly inspiring words. If interested in leadership I can’t recommend this group highly enough) – and perhaps what I am talking about incorporates some of each of those points.

I have worked for many managers, but only a small few have the magnetism, the ‘pull’ to make you want to get on board with their cause / idea and do all you can to help them achieve it. I have seen the drive of one person start a small movement and turn it into a wildfire of like-minded followers. The drive and passion to do something better, create something better, be part of something you can be proud of at the end – that is what drives me and what I look for in a leader.

The drive to make something better requires a selfless passion that I find compelling. I have written ‘to make something’ and particularly ‘to make someone better’ because, aren’t we all looking for a leader that can guide us to a better place (physically, emotionally, spiritually) than we are now?

Is the one key attribute you would look up to in a leader the one thing that we truly want to possess / demonstrate ourselves?

What is the one key attribute that you would look up to in a leader?