Monday, September 23, 2013

Common Characteristics of Dynamic Leaders

With more than 30 years of Executive Coaching Experience and conducting Leadership Development Seminars, I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to observe a lot of outstanding leaders at work. Even though clients engage me as a consultant, they haven’t been the only ones doing the learning; I’ve also learned from them. So I thought that I would use this blog from time to time to discuss a few key characteristics that, from my experience and observation, are key traits that successful and dynamic leaders share.

1. Dynamic Leaders are passionate, focused and disciplined workers

On the one hand, effective leaders see the potential in their people and focus on what will make them successful, and readily give credit where credit is due. On the other hand, they also know that it’s “all about them” — about how hard they personally work, the example they set, and the shadow of influence they cast. That shadow of influence of the leader means setting high standards and then leading by example. It recognizes that people watch leaders, to see what they do and how they live the principles that they espouse.

2. Dynamic Leaders lead from the front and love what they do

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, many managers and supervisors don’t engage their team members or communicate clearly their goals and objectives. Employees don’t function well in a vacuum. Effective leaders aren’t afraid to get down in the trenches with their colleagues to learn what their strengths and challenges are, learn about their goals and dreams, and discover how to best support them so they can aspire to being the best that they can be.

3. Dynamic Leaders focus on growth—their own and others’

In fact, dynamic and effective leaders are passionate about such growth. They don’t just hire the best and the brightest and then sit back and expect them to perform at the highest possible levels automatically. They recognize that life is a learning process, and that it’s important to invest in their people and in themselves, so that everyone can be at the top of their game. A true leader knows that everyone has leadership potential and that the measure of a leaders skill is to enable others to unlock that potential.

There are many more important characteristics that effective leaders share, and we’ll continue to explore those in future blog posts.

Jim Ondrus pioneered the management concept of Leadership Transitioning. He is president of JA Ondrus, LLC, a Canton, Ohio executive coaching firm.