9 Characteristics of Great Leaders

I am writing this post live from the Seattle SHRM breakfast (so apologies for any typos or grammar issues).  There is a jack-hammer pounding in the background.  Everyone is awake now.

Today’s speaker is leadership coach Tammy Redmon.  You can find Tammy on Twitter @tammyredmon and https://www.facebook.com/InspireAction.  Based on Tammy’s work and interviews with Fortune 1000 leaders, she lists 9 characteristics of great leaders:

She opened up her presentation with a couple of questions to get the audience thinking:

  • Are you a leader of self, leader of others, leader of leaders of others.  HR tends to be leader of leader of others helping many in the organization lead.
  • Scotoma:  The greek word for blind spot.  You can find these dark corners in your habits, attitudes, beliefs, and expectations.
  •  Under-performers cost a company 10 hours of week in discussions and documentation.   People don’t show up to be poor performers, its a leaders job to find out the why behind the issues.
  • Good is the enemy of great.  Many times under-performers set the bar at good when a company needs to be great.

Based on Tammy’s work and interviews with Fortune 1000 leaders, here are her 9 characteristics of great leaders:

  • Exceptional communicators: they can communicate the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  • Sacrifice: great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice.
  • Revolutionary: tied to a vision and the motivation to change
  • Renegade:  ala Richard Branson of Virgin
  • Raise the standard for self and others : (Indra Nooyia, CEO of Pepsi)
  • Fail Forward (Jack Welch):  Be willing to fail for the opportunity to move forward.
  • Transparency: People don’t want to ask questions if you are not open.
  • Unwavering:  Steve Jobs. Moving forward with your vison at the risk of everything.
  • Decisive: put yourself in a position to be decisive with the information, expectations, and analysis you need.

Now think about the ones that you think you need help with above.  What is the first action item you want to make a change in.  Just pick one of the items above, get your swoosh on, and just do it.


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