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AdvisorNet

What key attributes do you expect from an effective leader?

Veteran

Cristobal Puga Dallas, TX

After working as an intermediate employee for some time what would an individual need to do or accomplishment to set them apart and dignify them to a leadership role?

26 February 2019 14 replies Leadership & Management

Answers

Advisor

Roger Bhalla Houston, TX

I wouldn't say there is any definitive list, but here are some for you to consider. Per Aviv Shahar (a management consultant I've worked with): "Leadership is situational. The requirements of each situation are unique. Needs and opportunities change and are based on circumstance. Great leaders are adaptive and versatile - they instinctively assess the requirements of the situation, adapt and frame their style and modus operandi to best serve." Here are the Ten Faces of leadership:

1. The Pathfinder - Visionary. Finds and charts the way forward; identifies the North Star in the darkness.

2. The Mentor - Coach. Develops performers. Recognizes the potential and talent of others. Asks great questions. Listens. Grows leaders.

3. The Integrator - Collaboration Champion; psychologist; quilt maker. Brings diverse people, viewpoints and ideas together to produce results greater than the sum of the individual parts.

4. The Storyteller - Meaning Maker. Master of symbol and metaphor. Meme and culture specialist. Creates narratives that provide context and purpose and captures the spirit of the endeavor.

5. The Problem Solver - Creative. Clear headed. Reframes problems as opportunities; matches needs with resources. Shapes outcomes.

6. The Father Cover - Mr. / Ms. Safety and Accountability. Creates an umbrella cover and guarantees that all is well; knows what's going on and enables development, correction and progress.

7. The Energizer - Mr. / Ms. Passion and belief. The optimist and the salesman. The communication megaphone. Creates excitement. Cheers on the team. Communicates, communicates, communicates.

8. The Director - Stage-crafter. Master of experience and engagement. Designs the stage, creates the theater and sees that it all gets executed on time.

9. The Kaleidoscope - Analytical; pattern recognizer. Sees the forest and the trees. Identifies the relationships. Helps create frameworks of understanding. Teacher.

10. The Compass - Mr. / Ms. Ethics and fairness. Does the right thing. Keeper of perspective. Guardian of quality and standards.

27 February 2019 Helpful answer

Advisor

George Wilhelmsen Rochelle, IL

Cristobal,

I'm going to suggest a different path. Work with your manager to put you in situations NOW where you can demonstrate your leadership.

As for their help - explain that you would like to move into a leadership position, and ask them what opportunities might be available. If they have any to offer, take them up on the opportunity, and ask them for feedback regularly.

Think about the feedback they give you, and take action to change your behavior to better conform to what they are looking for in a leader.

If they don't have any opportunities, ask them if they know someone in the chain of command you can talk to who might, then take that action.

Usually, there are a couple of dozen opportunities. It may be in a volunteer activity - that doesn't matter. Leadership is leadership, and opportunities are something you can leverage on your resume.

Remember that you will be in a new role. Consider leaders that may have caught your attention in the past - what did they do? How did they inspire you? As a leader, your job is to inspire others to do great things. You are less of a "do-er" and more of someone who helps people see the great things they can do.

I hope this helps. Best wishes, and thank you for your service.

2 March 2019 Helpful answer

Advisor

Emanuel Carpenter Atlanta, GA

Cristobal - Good question. There are really only two things you need to do:

1. Work on becoming an expert in your field. That means reading books, attending webinars, taking classes, getting certificates, and things like that. Think of the one thing you can work on to distinguish yourself from your colleagues and do it. Perhaps you could redesign a system or create an easier process. For example, after 10 years in my field, I wrote a book.

2. Help others without being asked. One of the most important things about leadership is helping. Let management see your leadership in action.

Best of luck.

2 March 2019 Helpful answer

Advisor

Kathleen Dunn New York, NY

Hi Cristobal,

Thank you very much for your service and for using ACP AdvisorNet! I wanted to provide some advice based on my own career at American Corporate Partners (ACP).

I started as an Operations Associate, which is ACP’s entry-level position about four and a half years ago and now serve as the Senior Manager of Operations. Central to my success at ACP has been a desire for continuous feedback from my superiors and willingness to not only active seek out feedback but also to implement it. I’m also very introspective so when a project is successful I take a moment to analyze what went well and what I could have done better. I do the same for projects that aren’t successful because I believe professional growth only occurs when you are continuously learning.

I have found that a willingness to volunteer for new projects or to help with even the smallest items at ACP has been central to my success, as well. I would recommend that you look for opportunities at your current organization that will allow you to stand out. Give 100% to even the smallest of those tasks and I believe your superiors will notice.

If you have any questions, please feel free to privately message me or to reach out to me at kdunn@acp-usa.org.

Best,
Kathleen
Senior Manager, Operations

27 February 2019 Helpful answer

Veteran

Justin Carson New Braunfels, TX

I hate to say this but we don’t have the best examples of leadership right now. Honestly, a real true leader is going to have a rough time unless you have the credibility to back it up. The biggest problem we face getting out into the civilian world is reaching the bar we set while serving. Lots of us don’t realize how high we actually set our own personal standards until we’re out for a little while. Each person is different but we all seem to have a difficult time transitioning. I guess what I’m trying to say is I wouldn’t focus so much on leadership qualities at first. Because most likely you already possess what you need coming out of the military, it’s a matter of tact when using those qualities that’s most important. If I have your interest so far I’d be happy to dive deeper.

Justin
Ssgt (Air Force)

Veteran

Justin Carson New Braunfels, TX

I hate to say this but we don’t have the best examples of leadership right now. Honestly, a real true leader is going to have a rough time unless you have the credibility to back it up. The biggest problem we face getting out into the civilian world is reaching the bar we set while serving. Lots of us don’t realize how high we actually set our own personal standards until we’re out for a little while. Each person is different but we all seem to have a difficult time transitioning. I guess what I’m trying to say is I wouldn’t focus so much on leadership qualities at first. Because most likely you already possess what you need coming out of the military, it’s a matter of tact when using those qualities that’s most important. If I have your interest so far I’d be happy to dive deeper.

Justin
Ssgt (Air Force)

Advisor

Kimberly Smith Chicago, IL

So many great answers above so I won't be redundant but would add that I have a mantra that seems to work as a leader because sometimes you will lead and sometimes you will follow no matter what level you get to -- and it is important to recognize each situation. Sometimes the opportunity for leadership is not given to you, you have to take it. So I live by the mantra that "I don't have to be in control, I just insist that there is control". In situations where there is no control, I will step in and take over. This has served me well to demonstrate myself as a leader by taking the reigns without being asked. People will start to view you as someone who they can look to for direction or at least coordination.

Also to add to what someone said above about asking your boss to put you in positions where you can demonstrate your leadership by assigning you specific projects, also ask proactively to not only own the project but also present the project up the food chain as appropriate so skip level people 2-3+ levels above you start to see your leadership where you might not normally have visibility to these people. Its a great learning curve, sometimes nerve wracking but so worth it to get that experience and exposure. Also a good path to getting the good "resume builder" moments!

Advisor

Ashutosh Mehta Berkeley Heights, NJ

Thank you for your service, Cristobal.

You have already received very valuable feedback. As mentioned in one of the feedback that leadership is situational so does opportunity to shine too. You may have a project/task on hand which is out of your comfort zone or it may trivial task for you, in either case if you can show value to your customer, your management, you will get more opportunities in the area of work. Being pro at task by experience, and blended with attitude of doing right, delivering on time, within budget and knowing what is the benefit of your stakeholders may help you standing out of the crowd and be noticeable with results.

Other than that practical/day to day approach, I would suggest you to know your customer and organization's vision so you can be more productive in their measurement. Note that all advices and suggestions are tools, and you who is in the middle of zone, have to use the right tool for your situation.

Good luck!

Ashutosh Mehta

Advisor

Bob Molluro Wilmington, DE

There are already plenty of good ideas. At the top of your list while you are developing your attributes I would focus on:
1) Make sure as many people as possible know that you are interested in moving up.
2) Find mentors who will give you honest feedback on what you need to improve on and how you can get situations where you can demonstrate your improvements.
3) What is your boss saying about your aspirations- if he is not on your side you have a much bigger mountain to climb. Everyone needs sponsors who recommend them.

Advisor

martin kelly Wilmington, DE

Cristobal, hi; and thanks for your service.

For me, these are top on my list:

Integrity - transparency - be "real'; do what you promise

Ability to not have to be " the smartest guy in the room"

Inclusive - Collaborative

Life-long learner

Hire good folks; source them and then get out of their way

Want your employees to be successful - having best interest of employees
at heart

Have a vision - and share it!

Hope this helps

Best,

Martin

Advisor

Chuck Burger King Of Prussia, PA

Cristobal,

It seems like the attributes and actions end of things have been extensively covered thus far, so I will offer a few leadership characteristics that I have noted over the years. First, every top/admired leader I have ever encountered during my career possessed a photographic memory; they remember every detail of every meeting, status report, contract item, etc. etc. ever put in front of them. Next, they all exhibit an insatiable thirst for data and detail; with a fear that it would be the “what I/we don’t know will ultimately scuttle/adversely impact… the desired outcome” This last point would be argued at many levels I am sure; “waiting for all the information can be as, or more, damaging than a decision with less than perfect information…” I am not here to argue that point, only to communicate my observations.

Good luck on your journey to the land of leadership, and thank you for your service!

Advisor

Diana C. Navratil La Quinta, CA

Hello, Cristobal GREAT QUESTION

As a Certified Performance Life Coach, I have trained many people from different backgrounds on what it is to be a leader in today's world. These are the traits of being a powerful leader.

ACCOUNTABILITY:
To take personal responsibility and be in ownership for all outcomes created, recognizing we are the source of 100% of our results.

RESPECT:
To Live the value of respect by celebrating and embracing the unique gifts that every human being contributes.

COMMUNICATION:
To promote clarity and exchange information. Through ideas, and feelings effectively to create a connection.

VISION:
To trust and believe in a future possibility that generates committed action, and attracts the resources to manifest into reality.

LEADERSHIP: TO ENVOKE TRUST IN SELF AND OTHERS, ENROLLING THEM IN COMMITTED ACTION AS ARCHITECTS OF CHANGE BY RECOGNIZING WE ARE THE SOURCE OF OUR RESULTS.

Diana Cruz Navratil CPP

Advisor

Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

Lao Tzu: “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”

Advisor

Susana Moraga Hayward, CA

Cristobal,
I don't know what you mean by "intermediate employee".
Discussing leadership/management with your supervisor and mentor would be ideal in your current career field.
If you are looking at another career field then starting with informational interviews with advisors in this community in your chosen field would be a great start.
Leadership is very broad, having a good idea of what you are preparing for will require you to identify the key skills that are necessary for that position.
Good luck,

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