According to Pat Williams, co-founder of the Orlando Magic (yes, he drafted Shaq), who spoke at a recent Accelerent breakfast, they are:
This means having the ability to “paint a picture” of your roadmap and ultimate end game so well that others “see it” too.
Good communications means you are concise, correct, consistent, calm and confident. And, perhaps most importantly, being a good communicator means being able to actively listen to others, not just to your own voice. This also means being able to share your vision so well that you can feel good about delegation to others.
The best leaders, at their core, have empathy and love for people. They are visible – never simply ruling from an ivory tower. They ask “what do you think?” and “how would you handle this?” They visibly root for others – and mean it – just because.
Now, this trait can be argued. Williams noted a slave owner named Thomas Jefferson and an adulterer named John F. Kennedy when talking about leading with character. So, to have character, clearly it is okay to be a flawed human being. I think that perhaps the ability to take responsibly for things – good or bad – and caring about leaving things better than they were before gives you character.
Do you know your sh*t? Well – that’s not enough! You also have to have the ability to problem solve, evaluate talent, teach/coach others and build effective teams.
Understand the importance of being “the boss.” Leaders have to make decisions. They can’t live in the perpetual grey zone.
You will never truly be a great anything – leader or otherwise – unless you are willing to give, to serve and to help others.