The Marine Corps has identifed 14 leadership qualities or traits of thought and action. It is a fairly comprehensive list of characteristics good leaders possess.
Not only have they provided definition of each leadership trait, they have also identified ways to develop it.
Starting with Justice and ending with Endurance, they have developed this acronym to help you remember these basic leadership traits: J. J. DID TIE BUCKLE.
If you are reading this, it means to me that you are serious about becoming a leader who leads.
Take some time to review and study the Marine Corps Leadership Traits. After doing so, identify which quality you want to develop and put together your development plan to improve in that area.
I encourage you to start with one, no more than two. That will allow you to focus on developing one trait and once that is mastered, add another.
Much success as you continue along your leadership journey, picking up the neccessary traits to help you become a leader who leads.
Regardless of where you are on the leadership continuum, you must possess certain leadership qualities to be successful in your role.
It will take time and focused effort to develop those traits.
Whether you found a leadership position or a leadership position found you, now is your time to "shine" by leaving the people and place better than you found it.
One thing I will share is that qualities don't appear like magic. They must be developed. It has taken time and focused effort to develop the qualities I possess today; and I am still a work in progress.
Early in my career I had a level of success as an individual contributor. Often, I was selected to serve as team or project leader. It was during those times that I got a chance to "test out" some of my leadership skills.
I was challenged in many of the areas listed above. Listening and Delegating were two of the main characteristics, especially early on in my career.
I must say I had a lot of failures, but it was the failures and some excellent mentors who helped me find my way.
It's not possible to be successful alone. Please make sure to seek out good role models who possess these traits; they can help you avoid making needless missteps.
A Leader Who Leads possesses certain leadership qualities that lend to their credibility and success. Those leaders and mentors who have left an indelible imprint on who I am have possessed the following characteristics:
L – Listens, Learns, Laughs
E – Engages, Evaluates, Encourages
A – Asks, Acts, Advises
D – Delegates, Decides, Divides
S – Succeeds, Solves, Stands
When that leadership position finds you (or you find it), make sure you are well-prepared and ready to step up to the plate.
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- Tom Peters