What do Leaders and Successful Entrepreneurs Have in common?
One of the all time popular topics for business people is to discuss what makes a good leader. What are the qualities of a leader and what distinguishes a leader from a follower? In all these characterizations it is the ability to look at what seems to be an unalterable situation, to envision a more promising scenario, and then as a leader to initiate action to create the world they imagine.
Here are seven common qualities that leaders and entrepreneurs exhibit. They are by no means all-inclusive but are critically important behavioral characteristics.
1) Envision the world as it might be and enlist others in creating a SHARED VISION. As Albert Einstein identified, we will never solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. A vision of a new business, a new world, community, family or personal life pushes a leader into the not-knowing of how to get there, but a leader knows that together we will figure it out as we go along.
2) Cultivate ACTIVE INQUIRY–know that you don’t know …no one does…but know that collectively we know far more than the sum of our parts. ASK lots of questions of as many people as possible about what could be. Questions like “What would it look like if….?” or “What would be happening if…?” begin to color in details of the big picture outlined by our vision.
3) LISTEN INTENTLY to your own intuitions and to others.
4) EXPLORE EAGERLY – Leaders don’t assume that because somebody uses the same words that those words have the same meaning for them. Leaders ask more and more questions. “What does that mean to you…?” “Would you give me an example…?” “What does it look like…?”
5) TAKE ACTION FEARLESSLY – Leaders know and understand that our basic human survival mechanism is fear. They assume most people are motified by fear and leaders talk about it. They ask questions about what would you fear if the undertaking is a success as well as if it is a failure. They then use what they learn to provide more information about moving forward. Then stay the course towards their intentions, while integrating feedback (more listening).
6) RISK GREATNESS – Leaders ask, listen, explore, and take action, they are aware that a new path will often emerge which will take them individually and collectively farther and faster than most believe possible. They are always willing to risk and take a chance on greatness.
7) AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE – Leaders are grateful for the learning that comes from whatever occurs. They harvest and express gratitude in every situation and use the learning to move forward.
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