Talk about the importance of leadership abounds these days. But can leadership truly be defined? Moreover, are the qualities of leaders identifiable and measurable? Thankfully, the answer is yes.

Individuals who possess five vital skills can be identified as leaders, given that they first must possess a compelling vision. Without this, most people see no reason to follow a person.

1. Accountability: Now that they have a compelling vision, leaders must be personally accountable, or possess the capacity to be answerable for personal actions and avoid placing unnecessary blame on others. There is a great deal of evidence to support people stop following anyone who does not have nor demonstrates personal accountability.

Most importantly, people who have personal accountability will do what it takes to be successful in any endeavor. If they need to develop additional skills to accomplish things, they will take the initiative to do so.

2. Powers of Persuasion: Having a compelling vision without the ability to persuade people to follow that vision tends to lead nowhere. Leaders who have mastered persuasion get immediate feedback when communicating with others and, while respecting differences, they convince others to change the way they think – and behave.

3. Going for a Goal: Along with persuasion, being goal-oriented is a must. Persuading people of a compelling vision will go nowhere unless the leader has a goal in mind. The goal becomes a part of the vision and is one of the traits of defining a leader. Part of being goal-oriented is being able to identify and prioritize activities that lead to a goal that is relevant, realistic and attainable. Leaders are those who identify and implement plans and milestones to achieve specific business goals.

4. Pleasing the People: A leader is a master of interpersonal skills – otherwise known as people skills. Leaders must be capable of working with all types of people. Mastery in this skill gives the leader the ability to keep all the people on the team engaged and to avoid conflict, which may actually work against their vision.

5. Self-Management: Excellent self-managers walk the walk in order to reinforce their compelling vision and strengthen their persuasion. In addition to the ability to manage time and priorities, self-managers can also manage their emotions and impulses. Those who fail at self-management talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. For example, if a leader believes it is OK for them to miss deadlines, it sends messages to their team missed deadlines are acceptable.

Leadership is much less ephemeral than one might believe. Spotting an individual who possesses these five skills will put organizations well on their way to identifying the leader in their midst.

The TriMetrix HD assessment will quickly determine if the leader has these skills and ones they need to be working on. Contact End Game Business to learn more.

Guest post courtesy of Bill Bonnstetter, CEO and Founder of TTI my assessment partner.

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