The Characteristics of Excellent Leadership Using Various American Presidents as Examples
- Vision is the creation of a focus. It is to develop an agenda, goals, and expectations. Some people might call vision having the ability to think out of the box.
- Communicate the vision and develop the ability to explain abstract topics with specifics; good leaders articulate the hopes, dreams, feelings, and values of people that they feel but cannot necessarily articulate themselves.
- Hire excellent people; hire people who are smarter than you are and delegate to them the authority and responsibility to act. This is called the art of empowerment.
- The ability to make decisions and the courage to take risks.
- The ability to admit mistakes and to say, quite simply, I am sorry.
- To be trustworthy, to be reliable, to care about others, and to feel good about yourself.
- To have determination, to have willpower, and to have a never-give up attitude.
- A sense of humor. All good leaders have to have a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at themselves.
From the keynote speech at the Department Heads' Retreat, August 18, 2000.