Eight Traits of Great Leaders and One Lesson from a Monkey

March 14, 2012 Comments
Eight Traits of Great Leaders and One Lesson from a Monkey

A recent company leadership offsite in Bangalore, India provided fresh reminders of the leadership behaviors needed to build a strong leadership legacy.  I view the leadership traits shared by management consultant Mohit Chhabra as critical components of leading change in digital communications and navigating the unchartered waters of social business.

Great leaders:

1. Are continual learners – Great leaders bring wisdom and experience to situations, but equally as important they are always adding to their knowledge, practicing new skills & sharing this information with others.  They strive to be a complete leader across the many facets of leadership.

2. Inspire a shared vision – The best leaders know where they are headed and bring people along the journey with them.  They envision the future, entrust others and enlist people to achieve a shared vision.

3. Are good listeners – Strong leaders actively listen to their stakeholders.  They solicit input and engage with a variety of individuals.  They adapt their communication style to engage with those who are different from them.

4. Challenge processes – Great leaders experiment.  They search for new opportunities and innovative ideas.  They assert themselves in chaotic situations and will take risks.

5. Make time for introspection – The best leaders know the value of disconnecting.  This means stepping away from the day-to-day to regularly create the head space for new ideas, fresh thinking and that “Ah ha!” moment to happen.

6. Enable Others – Strong leaders treat others with respect and courtesy.  They empower others with the confidence that he or she will be there for them and will be their advocate.  They foster collaboration and mentorship to strengthen the skills of the entire team.

7. Build camaraderie – Good leaders recognize individual contributions and build an environment of mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together. They celebrate the victories and build a sense of connection to the organization.

8. Model a good example – The best leaders project the same values and behaviors they expect of others.  They are clear on their personal values and are not afraid to change their mind.

What behaviors do you respect in the world’s best leaders?

And the lesson from the monkey?  When in Bangalore, never leave the outdoor tea table unattended or your sugar packets just may disappear.

About the Author:
Shari Roberts, SPHR

Shari Roberts has spent the last 28 years in Human Resources, with the last 11 years at Text 100 Public Relations where she is currently the Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources.  Shari partners with the global HR and leadership teams in 24 offices and 17 countries across North America, EMEA and APAC to ensure we have the best people practices in place around the world.  Together, they work to put the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time — and have a great deal of fun, growth and learning along the way.  Text 100 is the proud recipient of numerous Best Company awards, including the 2011 Best Agency to Work For award by The Holmes Report.

Shari joined Text 100 from TriNet Group, Inc. where she led a team of HR consultants in the support of emerging growth technology clients across the Greater Northwest and Rocky Mountain markets.  Shari is a past Board Member of the Lake Washington HR Association and current member of the Society for Human Resource Management.   Shari currently lives in the Seattle area with her family and two golden retrievers.

  • http://twitter.com/jprastrullo JP Rastrullo

    Hey Shari,

    I like your insight when it comes to leadership, especially your last point about leading by example. I too believe that servant leadership is the best style as they should exemplify the best model for others to follow.

    The only one thing that I think may be missing from this list is humility. It is important for a leader to be humble to recognize that although he/she may be a leader, he/she is still a human being among others.

    In my opinion, humility is something that we should strive for everyday, and the moment we claim that we’re humble is the second we lose our humility!

    Just my .02

    -JP Rastrullo (@jprastrullo:twitter )

    • ShariRoberts

      JP, I couldn’t agree more – I believe humility is a common thread across all of the eight traits.  It is maintaining a frame of mind that we are all works in progress.  The joy is in the journey of self development and team development.

      Thanks for sharing.

      • http://www.britopian.com Michael Brito

        Excellent post Shari.

        Thank you for your thoughts and contributions here.

  • Sonali P.S.

    Hi Shari, you have captured all the traits perfectly.

    I have one additional point to add and that would be the ability to be a Great Communicator which enables one to put their message across in the best possible way achieving positive end results, whether it is a business message or something relating to HR.

    • http://www.britopian.com Michael Brito

      Sonali — yes, you are correct. Great communication skills is definitely a leadership attribute.

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