Being a Leader

Being an effective leader in today’s complicated business world takes a solid set of skills to manage problems and make decisions in a fast-changing environment. Today’s leaders also need to have a strong sense of ethics and work to build integrity in their organizations. Raymond Cattell, a pioneer in the field of personality assessment, developed the Leadership Potential equation in 1954. According to Cattell, there is a continuum of personality traits. A person contains each of these traits to a certain degree, being stronger in some traits and weaker in others. Here is a partial list:

  • Emotional stability: Good leaders must be able to tolerate frustration and stress. Overall, they must be well-adjusted and have the ability to stay calm when dealing with difficult or unexpected situations.
  • Dominance: Leaders are often competitive, decisive and enjoy overcoming obstacles. They tend to be assertive in their thinking style as well as their interactions with others.
  • Enthusiasm: Leaders are usually seen as active, expressive and energetic. They are often very optimistic and open to change. Overall, they are generally quick and alert and tend to be spontaneous.
  • Conscientiousness: Leaders are often dominated by a sense of duty and tend to be very self-disciplined. They usually have strong character, a high standard of excellence and an inward desire to do their best.
  • Social boldness: Leaders tend to be spontaneous risk-takers, and generally thick-skinned. Overall, they are responsive to others and tend to have strong emotional stamina.
  • Self-assurance: Self-confidence and resiliency are common traits among leaders. They tend to be self-sufficient and are generally unaffected by prior mistakes or failures.
  • Compulsiveness: Today’s leaders are protective of their integrity and reputation, and tend to be more socially aware and careful when making decisions or determining specific actions.
  • Intuitiveness: In today’s world of rapid changes and information overload, more leaders are learning the value of using their intuition and trusting their gut when making decisions.
  • Empathy: Being able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes is a key trait of a strong leader. Without empathy, you can’t build trust; without trust, you will never be able to get the best effort from your employees.
  • Charisma: Leaders with charisma have the ability to arouse strong emotions in their employees by defining a vision which unites and captivates them. Using this vision, leaders motivate employees to reach toward a future goal by tying the goal to personal/professional rewards and values.

Circumstances and persistence are major components in the developmental process of any leader, so if your goal is to become a leader, work on developing those areas of your personality that you feel are not up to par, through leadership classes or a business coach or mentor.

For more help developing your leadership skills, contact the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County. Conveniently located in Camarillo, California, we’re here to help.

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