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I was speaking with a friend on the weekend and he said that the single greatest trait of a true leader is that they live in a world without blame. A great leader takes responsibility for the world that is around them.

Effective leadership is not about being liked; a great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go but ought to be.

Leadership Maxims:

  • Never make assumptions; if in doubt, ask.
  • Provide concise communications of goals and expectations.
  • Clearly, define company structure.
  • Lead by example.
  • Always present a unified front.
  • Be accountable.
  • Respect confidentiality.
  • Always be truthful.
  • If you have questions, go to the source.
  • Remove all emotion from decisions.
  • Seek consensus when possible.
  • Be approachable.
  • Have passion.

Thanks Kirsten for adding to the definition – but I would have to argue that you cannot fake it until you make it. You either believe in your purpose or not. You either are passionate about the game you play…or not.

But knowing that you are the source of your own future is very powerful – it is the essence of leadership.

What do you consider to be the great traits of a leader?

Reader Interactions


  1. There is also a difference between listening, hearing and really getting into another persons world. Empathy to me is not how the world would occur to me in that persons shoes, but really experiencing life as if I was in that persons shoes.

  2. I like your concept of leadership. I think one major aspect of leadership, arguably underpinning the rest, is the ability to make and sustain relationships. There must be a connection, however vague or intense, to start the process of leadership. Nurturing this connection extends the "leadership lifetime".

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