7 Indispensable Leadership Characteristics and Qualities (Video)

By Alan Gehringer

dateSun, Jun 15, 2014 @ 12:00 PM

I recently had the pleasure of hearing Pat Williams speak at the Fortune Leadership Summit.

Pat Williams is a basketball Hall-of-Famer, currently serving as co-founder and senior vice president of the NBA's Orlando Magic. He is one of America's top motivational speakers and has addressed thousands of executives.  Pat has 19 children, many of which are adopted, and is currently battling cancer but still going strong while being filled with optimism.  Very inspiring, I must say.


Pat has written numerous books and is a veracious reader.  From his personal experience and what he has learned from his readings, he has developed these seven indispensable qualities of leadership.


1. Vision - A visionary sees before others, sees farther and wider, and sees in vivid technicolor.  Having a vision will keep you focused and energized.  It helps you finish.   Leadership is always about results. 

2. Communicating your vision - You must believe that it is as important to communicate your vision as it is to have a vision. Communicate as much as you can with your associates until they understand and care. Three keys to effective public speaking are being clear, concise and correct.  Communicate optimism.  Communicate hope. A leader is a dealer in hope.  Great leaders are communicating motivation and inspiration.  Do it publicly in front of other people. Leadership generally gravitates to those that can talk in front of people and communicate.  Communicate through stories. 

3. People skills - Leaders care about people, have a heart, and show empathy. Pat does not believe you can coach them right if you do not love them. Love everybody and do it aloud. 

4. Character – Leaders have strong character and do the right thing even when it is difficult or unpopular. Exercise honesty, integrity, and responsibility, 

5. Competence -  Leaders are good at what they do.  Leaders are born and made.  Leadership is about solving problems.  Face problems head on.  Leaders are responsible for spotting talent and building a team. Great leaders are great sales people. You must be competent to teach. You cannot be a lifelong teacher until you commit to being a lifelong learner.  It is never too late to get a PhD.  Spend time with smart people.  Seek out mentors, life coaches and be a life long reader.  Read at least one hour a day for the rest of your life.  

6. Boldness - Leaders do not sit on the sidelines, they step up and lead. See yourself as a leader, preparing and stepping up. Be the boss. You do not need a title to be a leader.

7. A serving heart - It is not about me, it is always about you, advancing others’ careers, and the success of the organization. Practice servant leadership.  Do not use intimidation or manipulation. 

Do any of these ideas resonate with you?  Most were familiar to me, but I thought it was a great refresher and good compilation of leadership ideas. 

Let me know if you have any to add to the list from your own experiences.


Good luck and lead well,  Alan


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Alan Gehringer


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