The Characteristics of a Leader

In Pat Williams book, Leadership Excellence he covers the 7 Sides of Leadership. The fourth side of leadership he covers is Character – the array of personality traits you have built into your life over time.

There are 7 character traits of a leader according to Pat – integrity, diligence, self-control, courage, perseverance, responsibility and humility.

Leaders that have the character trait of integrity, their walk and talk are totally aligned. Leaders can compromise their integrity and get away with it for a while, but in the long run no one can get away with it forever. Leaders who lack integrity are eventually exposed.

Optimize magazine published a ten-point description:

The Ten Universal Characteristics of Integrity

  • You know the little things count.
  • You find the white when others see gray.
  • You mess up… you fess up.
  • You create a culture of trust.
  • You keep your word.
  • You care about the greater good.
  • You’re honest, but modest.
  • You act like you are being watched.
  • You hire integrity.
  • You stay to the course.

Leaders of character have great work ethic and diligence. Leaders of excellence are often the first to arrive and the last to leave. This is not to suggest you need to be a workaholic and neglect your family, but to set a good example of strong work ethic. Your followers are watching you, and your example of diligence sets the tone for your team and organization.

Self-control is the trait of self-discipline or the ability to lead oneself. Vince Lombardi one said, “A good leader must be harder on himself than anyone else. He must first discipline himself before he can discipline others.”

Over the last year and a half, many leaders have learned a new level of perseverance. It was either persevere and survive or give up and see your business fail. This was a true test for many leaders.

You can check out the other character traits of a leader in Pat’s book. You will love how easy of a read it is as he tells stories to make the “lesson” stick.