Five Habits

The powerful recession that swept the globe over the last few years was a game-changer for businesses everywhere. Lulled into a false sense of security by the the many years of plenty, companies operating with bloated payrolls, lavish spending on nonessentials and lax management practices suddenly found themselves confronted with a new reality.

Corporate leaders were forced to adapt to the times, or they found themselves replaced by someone better suited to the new paradigm. Exactly what skills are required of today’s leaders? I came across an excellent article yesterday in the New York Times entitled “Distilling the Wisdom of CEOs” which described five must-haves for any aspiring leader.

If you don’t have time to read the article, the qualities examined in the article are:

  • Passionate Curiosity – they learn from everybody
  • Battle-hardened Confidence – they possess a strong work ethic forged in times of adversity
  • Team Smarts – not just team players, they are good playmakers
  • A Simple Mindset – they keep it simple
  • Fearlessness – discomfort is their comfort zone

Isn’t this an excellent list? I must say that I look for those same qualities when I consider who is ready to be promoted into a position of leadership in my companies. To this list I would add two of my own current favorites:

  • Energetic Service – deeply motivated by a concern to help others
  • Practical Vision – a grand vision with a knack for getting from here to there without much ado

If you aspire to leadership in your field, you would be wise to consider these qualities of character that, incidentally, can all be developed through deliberate application no matter how little experience you’ve had with them.

Have a great day and dare to lead!

10 thoughts on “Five Habits

  1. Colin

    These are some of the most uniquely useful character traits I have had the pleasure to read about. In fact, I will make these my focus for improvement until I have them ingrained as habits. Thank you so much!


  2. strawberryfields

    Rank and file had to change too. This recession brought passion back to work. I notice my co workers are more invested in doing a great job, not just showing up. I think most people are not taking their job for granted anymore.


  3. Doug

    Great article. Your commentary and additions are spot on. Staying in business was the challenge these last couple years. The challege now is learning how to grow the business in the new paradigm. Lean and dedicated is how we kept our doors open; alert and decisive is how we’ll grow.


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