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Ponder Points

A Ponder Point is a significant, outstanding, or effective idea, argument or suggestion that needs to be weighed in the mind with thoroughness and care.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Leadership Traits of Good Leaders

"Effective leadership is the only competitive advantage that will endure. That's because leadership has two sides - what a person is (character) and what a person does (competence)."
Stephen Covey


As in my last post, tonight's post will be on the subject of leadership and the traits that make a good leader. Traits are qualities or characteristics of a person and the sum total of these traits make up what we refer to as character. There are literally hundreds of personality traits but I want to focus on the ones that are part of a good leader's makeup. The traits needed by a good leader are the same whether you are a leader in the Marines, a large corporation, community group or hold a political office. Here are the leadership traits as defined by the Marine Corps field manual "Leading Marines".

1. Integrity – Uprightness of character and soundness of moral principles; includes the qualities of truthfulness and honesty.

2. Knowledge – Understanding of a science or an art. The range of one’s information, including professional knowledge and an understanding of your Marines.

3. Courage – The mental quality that recognizes fear of danger or criticism, but enables a person to proceed in the face of it with calmness and firmness.

4. Decisiveness – Ability to make decisions promptly and to announce them in a clear, forceful manner.

5. Dependability – The certainty of proper performance of duty.

6. Initiative – Taking action in the absence of orders.

7. Tact – The ability to deal with others without creating offense.

8. Justice – Giving reward and punishment according to merits of the case in question. The ability to administer a system of rewards and punishments impartially and consistently.

9. Enthusiasm – The display of sincere interest and exuberance in the performance of duty.

10. Bearing – Creating a favorable impression in carriage, appearance and personal conduct at all times.

11. Endurance – The mental and physical stamina measured by the ability to withstand pain, fatigue, stress and hardship.

12. Unselfishness – Avoidance of providing for one’s own comfort and personal advancement at the expense of others.

13. Loyalty – The quality of faithfulness to country, the Corps, the unit, to one’s seniors, subordinates and peers.

14. Judgment – The ability to weigh facts and possible solutions on which to base sound decisions.

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