Darryl Stewart
By Darryl Stewart

Do you share the qualities of a great leader?

In his phenomenal course on leadership, Linton Sellen points out the difference between the qualities we often associate with good leaders and the qualities that are actually most important. Do you want to be led by the person with these qualities?

  • Charismatic
  • Great communication skills
  • Influential
  • Visionary
  • Intelligent
  • Innovative
  • Proactive
  • Committed
  • Passionate
  • Go-getter
  • Goal setter

Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? This above was a list of Hitler’s qualities.  Would we like to be led by Hitler?  Obviously not.

Linton suggests that the list below is a better test of leadership potential and ability:

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Trustworthiness
  • Loyalty
  • Unselfishness
  • Care for the well-being of others
  • Compassion
  • Self-discipline
  • Courage
  • Humility
  • Mercifulness
  • Patience

When I look at these two lists, I am sure that I would rather be led by someone who displayed the second set of qualities. In the past I always looked for extremely high ambition and personal performance as an indicator of future leadership potential. I can now see that method was a mistake. Ambition and personal achievement are great but to be a great leader it takes something else. Linton calls it good character.

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