5 Personal Leadership Words

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Fri, Sep 5 - 2:27 am EDT | 10 years ago by
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Number 5 Trevor Gay recently shared his 5 leadership words, and encouraged us to do the same. I’m going to share my 5 personal leadership words, for all leadership starts with how you lead your self.

Trevor’s list:

  • Integrity
  • Humility
  • Kindness
  • Support
  • Fairness

An excellent list of 5 leadership words, and ones I would encourage you to keep in your leadership tool belt.

For me, the list is even simpler:

Authenticity – You must be yourself when you lead. If you’re not, folks will smell you from a mile away, and not your cologne, but your leadership will stink!

Flexibility – You must be willing to change your way of thinking if the information is overwhelmingly against you, and not stick to any set way of thinking.

Discipline – You must have the discipline to stay the course, even when it looks dark and dreary out. Sometimes you’ll need to make unpopular decisions. You may even need to make decisions that are harder on you than they are on your team. That’s okay. Make them anyway! That’s why you’re a leader.

Honesty – Know what you know, and know what you don’t, and be honest enough with yourself to know when you are beyond your strengths zone.

High Energy – OK, two words, but one meaning: You must have the energy to keep going on, even when you don’t want to. You must energize yourself to get up in the morning and face another day.

What are your 5 personal leadership words?

You can join the conversation by leaving a comment, or take the conversation back to your blog and see what your readers have to say!

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  • CK

    You hit most of the highlights already but I would add these five more to your list …

    Listen – listen to your people and keep an open mind. Listen to vendors, suppliers, neighbours, everyone. Get feedback. Use the 80/20 rule – listen 80 percent and talk 20 percent.

    Communicative – combined with listening, talk to anyone involved with your company. This includes staff, customers, vendors, suppliers – everyone! which also brings me to the next subject …

    Visionary – forward looking, inside the organization as well as outside. Everyone that you talk to (and more importantly listen to) can become your eyes and ears to trends and patterns to which you can direct your organization to succeed. A stagnant organization is an extinct organization!

    Praise – Catch people doing their best and praise them for it – publicly! We all crave praise yet for some reason we seldom give it. Besides, you’ll get a better and more loyal worker if you do!

    Non-judgemental – Keep an open mind. If someone comes up with an idea that has been tried before don’t tell them that “it won’t work here.” You would be cutting off any potential ideas from that person that may be of value! At least they are thinking rather than being a mindless drone!

  • http://ericbrown.com Eric D. Brown

    Here’s my five:

    * Integrity is the first and probably most important Leadership trait. Without integrity, there are no other truths nor is there a base to lead from. When most people think of integrity, they think of honesty or ethics, however, integrity means so much more than just being honest. Integrity also means having the character that allows you to live your life according to your values, ethics and standards. Integrity breeds honesty, which breeds trust. If you, your partner, manager, or CEO don’t have an understanding of what integrity is, then they really don’t understand leadership.

    * Empathy allows a person to understand and experience things from a similar frame of reference as others. This skill is vital to a leader because it allows a person to truly understand how your actions as a leader will affect others. Empathy not only allows you to be a better leader, but also a better human being.

    * Openness allows a person to accept all views and positions on a subject, evaluate those views/positions and choose the best way forward for all parties involved. A close-minded leader will not accept inputs from others and will usually surround themselves with sycophants and agreeable people.

    * Foresight is vital to a leader because it allows a person to combine the past, present and future into their thinking. This trait gives a leader a basis for making better decisions, which will normally lead to better strategic planning and operational excellence.

    * Last but not least is Self-Awareness. Without self-awareness, the other traits are worthless. Unless you understand yourself and your own motives, you cannot understand or lead others.

  • http://www.davidzinger.com David Zinger

    Here are 5 of the top of my head:

  • http://create-learning.com michael cardus


    5T’s of Leadership and Teamwork

  • http://www.leadershipturn.com Miki

    Watch out, everybody, here comes the rain. Not to spoil the parade, but…

    Every “leader” I know of will tell you that s/he is all of those things.

    So is the real test in the court of public opinion? Yes, to a point, but even that isn’t really objective.

    Positive ratings will go to the leader who most closely resembles their followers own views of what is authentic, who has integrity, etc.

    Finally, all those worda are great, but their definitions aren’t static—they change as societal views change.

  • http://www.greatmanagement.org greatmanagement


    I hope you are well!

    Here’s mine:


  • CK

    @Miki – I have to agree with you on your statement! Anyone will tell you those things. But I think the point of this exercise was what makes for a good leader. I agree that the jury is out until the leader/manager demonstrates these qualities. But then that is what a leader is – the one who leads (goes first – remember as a child “follow the leader?”).

    Employees take their queue from the leader (or manager) – you have poor leadership you have poor employees! Where I work ‘poor’ is acceptable so long as you serve management and not the customer! I have a hard time accepting poor leadership or management. And because of this inability to accept poor quality I am treated as an outsider. Another reason I am searching for another job – unfortunately where I live even the local newspaper is calling the area employment a ‘black hole!’

  • http://www.whatmakesagoodleader.com/Employee-Motivation.html Ian Pratt

    Five from the top of my head are

    Excellence – Just keep trying to become better and better at what you do

    Persistence – Keep picking yourself up

    Courage – Make the decisions that need to be made

    Knowledge – Keep learning, from experience and books, web, course

    Accountability – Hold yourself accountable to meet your commitments

  • Corinne

    Poor management results in frustrated employees, not poor employees.

    My list:

    My husband’s list:
    Tough decisions

  • Pingback: Whenever You Can, Tell It Like It Is | Slow Leadership

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