The Key that Unlocks Leadership

I’m consumed with power-packed brevity. Five words are better than thirteen. That sentence originally read, “If I can say something in five words rather than seven I’m excited.” Brevity by itself is meaningless, it needs content.

In the spirit of brevity, what is the most important leadership quality/behavior of all?

My number one quality is number one on the following list of potential top leadership qualities.

  1. Believe you matter. “It is not a question of ‘Will I make a difference?’ Rather, it’s ‘What difference will I make?” (Kouzes/Posner)
  2. Make others believe they matter. Inspired by Joe Tye.
  3. Take Action. Joan Koerber-Walker says, “The difference between dreamers and leaders is that leaders ACT on those beliefs and begin the process of ACTually making a difference.”
  4. Embrace and follow purpose.
  5. Love people, purpose, your organization, and yourself. Inspired by Al Diaz.
  6. Character/integrity John Spence.
  7. Creativity along with the ability to solve problems.
  8. Humility.
  9. Delegation. Leaders who can’t delegate never reach their potential.
  10. Passion and vision.

I wrote about this a year ago and I still believe the most important leadership quality of all is believing you matter. You won’t matter until you believe you matter.

Believing you matter is the first step toward:

  1. Courageous dreams.
  2. Loving others.
  3. Helping others matter.
  4. Taking action.
  5. Making decisions.
  6. Listening to others.

Believing you matter doesn’t guarantee you’ll become a leader. It only lays the foundation for leadership. If you don’t believe you matter you won’t.

Can you identify the most important leadership quality of all?

What’s on your list of most important leadership qualities/behaviors?


Readers note: I had originally intended to post part of my interview with Doug Conant today. I left my notes on my desk so that post is next week.