Do you possess the traits of an outstanding leader? Exceptional leaders regardless of industry, and level, "C" suite or factory floor, exhibit a commonality. They model what they expect from their subordinates. Take this short assessment to see if you are in synch with the traits of an exceptional leader.
Read through the character trait and give yourself an honest assessment from 1 to 5. The score of "1" meaning I need serious work in the area and a score of "5" meaning I could give lessons to others in the area. Be honest with yourself. Being a leader is all about you! It starts with knowing who you are first and foremost.
- Bearing: Do you look, act and speak like a leader?
It is an essential element in a leader's effectiveness and should be cultivated by maintaining impeccable personal appearance, avoiding profane or vulgar language, keeping your word, holding your temper, speaking clearly and walking erect.
- Courage: Are you able to take calm and firm action without fear of criticism?
Courage exists in a moral, as well as physical sense. In this assessment, we are addressing the moral. Moral courage means knowing what is right and standing up for it in the face of popular disfavor. When a leader is wrong, she or he accepts the blame. Can you? Do you?
- Decisiveness: Can you make decisions promptly and state them in a clear, forceful manner?
The wise leader gets all the facts, weighs one against the other, and then calmly and quickly arrives at the best decision. Decisiveness is largely a matter of experience and having a decision-making process. Out of this experience grows a strong sense of self-confidence and competence. The leader keeps in mind that many solid ideas originate at a subordinate level. Thus, opinions are solicited from subordinates when appropriate.
- Dependability: Can you be counted upon with certainty to perform tasks correctly?
Dependability is the quality that permits a superior to assign a task with the understanding that it will be accomplished with minimum supervision and maximum use of initiative. It includes the willing and voluntary support of the policies of the organization. Do you invest your best effort in an attempt to achieve the highest standards of performance while subordinating personal interest to organizational requirements?
- Endurance: Do you have the mental and physical stamina to carry on in the face of fatigue, stress, and crisis?
You must be aware that subordinates, customers, vendors and the public look to the leader of an organization during times that are difficult and stressful. The great leaders rise to the occasion. How about you? Do you tire easily?
- Enthusiasm: Do you display a sincere interest and zeal in what you do and in the efforts of your subordinates?
The research is in—companies that have the highest morale are the most successful. Displaying interest and optimism enhance the likelihood that tasks will be accomplished. Enthusiastic leaders are optimistic, cheerful, willing to accept the challenges of their profession and produce the best results. Do you project that enthusiasm?
- Initiative: How resourceful are you?
Taking action in the absence of clear direction and the lack of standard resources or methods instills respect and trust from subordinates, peers, and superiors. Where do you rate yourself?
- Integrity: Do you model upright and sound moral principles?
Exceptional leaders are known for their truthfulness and honesty in dealing with superiors, peers, subordinates, vendors, and customers—nothing less. Where are you on the scale?
- Judgment: Can you weigh the facts and circumstances logically in order to make decisions?
Many talented, well-known leaders have lacked in this area. The anticipation of situations, avoidance of the easy or emotional decision and situational awareness are the hallmarks of a leader who makes sound decisions. Do you make decisions in full view of the facts, and circumstances?
- Justice: Are you fair, firm, and consistent?
The just leader gives rewards and punishments according to the merits of the case in question. Impartiality is exercised in all judgment situations, and prejudice of any kind is avoided. Every decision is a test of fairness; which is observed by the leader's organization from board members to the lowest level employee. Are you fair, firm and consistent?