John Spence on Life and Leadership, Pt. 2

Thanks to everyone who left their personal top 3 leadership qualities on yesterday’s post. You generated a record number of comments for Leadership Freak. Click here for part 1.

Next Wednesday, Aug. 11, I’m posting my review of John’s book, “Awesomely Simple.” If you leave a comment next Wednesday you could win one of 3 signed copies he’s giving away.

And now part 2 of “John Spence on Life and Leadership.”


Leadership Freak:

I’d like to continue by focusing on leadership qualities for a minute. What top three qualities should every leader have?


This is a very challenging question, as I believe there are many qualities and skills needed to be an effective leader, but if you force me down to just three my list would be:

Character: first and foremost every leader must act with integrity, honesty and impeccable character in all aspects of their life. This is a non-negotiable minimum standard.

A great team player: To be successful today and into the future as a leader, you must be an expert at building and sustaining high-performance teams. Let’s face it; the speed of innovation, changes in the marketplace, economic pressures, and the torrent of information that bombards each of us daily… makes it clear to me that it is impossible to succeed alone. Effective leaders must be masters of collaboration.

Superb communicator: I am not talking about being able to make moving and motivating speeches, what I believe the qualities of an excellent communicator are include: highly attuned and focused listening, empathy and desire to deeply understand others, and the ability to ask just the right question… at just the right time.

Leadership Freak:

Before I let you go I’ve got to say I love your book “Awesomely Simple.” What motivated you to write it?


I have spent the last 20 years of my life dedicated to learning everything I could about how to run a successful business. As part of that process I have read a minimum of 100 business books a year and listened to upwards of 30 or more audio books… every year since 1989.

I’ve also had the great fortune to work shoulder to shoulder with some of the best and worst leaders in nearly 300 companies around the world. That does not make me a guru, but it has afforded me the very unique perspective of what makes a business successful and what runs one into the ground.

And once I stood back and took the time to carefully study everything I had learned, I realized there was a very clear “pattern” of key strategies that all of the best companies seem to focus on as a foundation for building sustainable success. I wrote Awesomely Simple to share that pattern in a clear, concise and easy-to-understand way… AND give people the tools and methods necessary for implementing these ideas in their business right away.

I was simply tired of seeing people and businesses struggle and wanted to help as much as I could.

Leadership Freak:

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with me and the LF community.


Now that John has laid out his top three leadership qualities, what do you think? Did he nail them? If your top three differ with his, can you explain why you chose yours?

John will be online to interact with you. Enjoy the conversation.