Saturday, January 2, 2010

Leaders giving back to the world.

(I want to start off by saying how grateful I am for the continued brilliant comments you have given)

I have a study on the traits of leadership (they gave 6) and I would like to know what your thoughts and feeling are about leadership today. I will share what the six traits were within 8 days. It is a study NOT available online – so the information I share could be something of value for you to know. There are never wrong answers or wrong comments they are always helpful.

Answer any number of the following:

1- What are a few traits you see as important in leadership today? (2 to 6)

2- What are some specific areas in the world you see our future leaders coming from?

3- How would you view leadership today versus how it has been in the past?

4- Who are some of the leaders of the present or past that you have the greatest respect for? (2 to 6)

5 – Extra question – How do you personally define leadership? (your personal viewpoint)


  1. 1- What are a few traits you see as important in leadership today?

    Contextual motivation and flexibility are important leadership traits. The ability to take things into context and act accordingly, even if that means changing one's original ideas and plans considerably when new information dictates doing so.

    2- What are some specific areas in the world you see our future leaders coming from?

    Hopefully, no area of the world will be excluded as people continue to learn how each of us is connected, one to the other.

    3- How would you view leadership today versus how it has been in the past?

    I believe that world leadership is being viewed much more realistically today, as opposed to the mindless, publicity-based glorification and use of propaganda in the past. It still happens, but less so because of the input by people who now have access to the technology that allows them to get their opinions out there and heard by a wider audience.

    4- Who are some of the leaders of the present or past that you have the greatest respect for?

    I have enormous respect for Barack Obama. After eight + years of poor management, this man has risen above the scapegoating and finger pointing to simply apply himself toward getting the job done. He is pulling us out of a horrible situation, slowly but surely and taking the blame for things that he had nothing to do with.

    5 – Extra question – How do you personally define leadership?

    I define leadership as the ability to assess a situation and take a mindful, intelligent approach to problem solving while, at the same time, demonstrating courage and integrity and working for the greater good.

  2. I typically define leadership as showing rather than telling, but I realize that no one really listens to showing much. I have almost no respect for any so called leaders. Most people who end up being leaders want the limelight and few of them deserve it. Even the good ones have so many failings that it makes it hard to consider them a true leader. I suppose I sound pretty cynical here.

  3. I want leaders everywhere to listen to all debates on important decisions and not to be unwilling to reverse course when they discover a mistake. In industry and in government.

  4. Tom,

    I am in the middle of moving, and don't have time to give an elaborate answer. I will just have to think about this a little longer and get back to you.

  5. I think accountability, presence, articulation, and willingness to participate are critical factors for leaders. I can think of a variety of other traits but those are core to me.

  6. One of my favorite leaders was Abraham Lincoln. I wonder what his approach would be in dealing with the current condition of our country. I like the fact that President Obama has studied the strategies of Lincoln.

  7. I agree with Willow. Abraham Lincoln was one of the finest leaders of this country.

    If you look back at photos of him during the war you can see the toll it took on him emotionally. It is said that he felt the pain of loss over each of his countrymen who fell in the war, on both sides. So many world leaders, past and present, seem to numb themselves, or don't care at all, to the lives lost in war.

    I think that they could learn something from President Lincoln about personal responsibility for the loss of lives in both sides of a war, no matter how nobel the cause they fight for.

    Plus, he was outspoken about animal rights, and it was rumored that he was a vegetarian, at time when neither ideal was popular.

  8. Trying to answer the last one...
    Leadership is to have the courage to go on no matter the drawbacks, the ins and outs. to be a leader one has to have the power not to be afraid of the adversities which might come... live as if you were always at the spa, when everybody is demanding answers and compensation for your mistakes.

    I am about to have a leader post at work and I must believe in these my words to do so!!!!


  9. Leaders I respect: Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Obama. Traits: intelligence, equanimity, vision, determination.

  10. I'm a big fan of the Dalai Lama, who has remained cheerful despite his country being virtually destroyed by China, including the murder and torture of so many people.

  11. Thanks for visiting my site Tom, appreciated!
    On leadership? A great pity we kept Nelson Mandela in jail for almost a quarter century. The world is in dire need of a hero, he would have flown with the eagles... he would have made a difference!!

  12. Sadly I think leadership today is far too dependent on someone's media presence, rather than their message.

  13. what i think has gotten lost in the world of today, is leadership by example. nowadays it's more of a case of 'do as i say, not do as i do'...

  14. Happy New year Tom! Thanks for being apart of my blog!

  15. I agree that listening is one of the most important traits, as well as showing not telling. Excellent questions.

  16. I think being able to put yourself in the other person's shoes should be a key trait of leaders.

  17. I think good leaders should be good listeners and representatives of the people, rather than to try and lead based on their personal opinions, ideals, and objectives.


  18. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such kind comments! On leadership, Robin and Shadow have excellent points. The problem I see with leaders today is there appears to be a lack of understanding that leading is not dictating, and leaders are not above the law.

  19. I have time to answer question #1
    Here is my list:

    1. Vision-a greater understanding for the possibilities and attributes to achieve same.

    2. Ability to inspire/ select and promote great talent around him/her.

    3. Immense intellectual capability to understand complex issues.

    4. Well read and curious.

    5. Empathy for those less fortunate, or less capable.

  20. Hi Tom!

    1- What are a few traits you see as important in leadership today? (2 to 6)

    I think they need to be down-to-earth, open- minded and willing to put themselves out there for the greater good of the cause, even if the powers that be, don't want them to.

    2- What are some specific areas in the world you see our future leaders coming from?

    Everywhere. I think every country has someone who would possess the traits we need in a leader.

    3- How would you view leadership today versus how it has been in the past?

    I think we are getting a little more tolerant of others lifestyles (we have a long way to go) we need someone who's lived among us, who knows what we need.

    4- Who are some of the leaders of the present or past that you have the greatest respect for? (2 to 6)

    Oh man... Well they all had their things, didn't they. I think Lincoln was a good one. John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. Obama's not bad - he has a lot of work to do, but I do respect him.

    5 – Extra question – How do you personally define leadership? (your personal viewpoint)

    Leadership is a role that would be best filled by people that don't ever try to get it. Confused? LOL

    What I mean is... the leaders that are elected are the ones running. To me the best leaders' are the ones who don't seek out election. Who are sitting in their house watching the election on tv. That way you know there is no hidden agenda, that person really just wants to make life better for all of us...

    I don't think that will ever happen, in fact not sure how well that would actually work out, but some of the most knowledgeable people I know are just regular people.

  21. The most effective leaders understand their followers’ needs.

    People follow because they want and need:

    •The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths.
    •The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team.
    •The most effective leaders understand their followers’ needs.

  22. Those with the virtues we most value from our leader often lack the ambition or egos for role so for the most part we are left with selfish egomaniacs or those thrust into greatness due to forces far greater than their will. Nelson Mandela is a good examlpe of this.
    India as a nation is posed make an imprint on the world, which is good i think for their leaders from what I see are well informed members of society.
    The very best leaders as far as I'm concerned are those aware of the plight and values of all in there care.
    Warm regards,

  23. Honesty, integrity, and humility. Confidence is important, but they need to see things from more than one point of view. Too many leaders (I'm thinking political, corporate, even religious) are motivated by self interest or the interest of the particular group the represent, not the common good of the people they are leading.

  24. What a fascinating blog. My sense is that leadership - overall - is best expressed in people who, as Joseph Campbell said, follow their bliss. If each of us follows that bliss, then we are doing exactly what we should be doing, in this instant, this place. And then we are all leaders.

  25. I used to work for an organization that tried to turn entreprenuers into business leaders. It wasn't as easy as you might think. It's a great question for this blog since a chief trait is being accountable for both the good and the bad decisions. Most have a lot of trouble living with their mistakes and instead blame others. Not a great way to build a company, or a country. To me, a key trait is to truly listen to a wide variety of people, not just your peers, before making decisions. Then sharing the wealth, which, as we know, is not the foundation upon which the USA sits. Empowerment is a powerful trait/skill/goal that too few business and political leaders truly embrace for fear they will lose their own power.

  26. I just saw Creflo Dollar on TV last week. He said something interesting. He said we don't need to run to our pastor to find out what God is saying to us. I found that so refreshing! To me, that's true Godly leadership. To encourage the people to hear God for themselves, rather than asking the leadership what God is saying, now that's Spirit-filled leadership!

  27. Thanks, Tom, for visiting my site and for your questions. I am going to put a link to your site and come back when I can give your questions more time.


  28. Great topic! :)

    I think the willingness to lead without an over bearing fear of mistakes is very important but no leaders I know seem to have it...

  29. leadership is about taking responsibility. no one is perfect but a true leader will hold him/herself accountable and fix the issue instead of finger pointing.

  30. First of all...thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for your comment.

    I will be sure to come back on the weekend and take a longer look around. Ah! Now that my few days off are over and it is back to full time work...I have a limited time to blog read!

    Blessings & Aloha!
    Thank you again and come back any time :o)

  31. I like Willow's remarks.

    I left you a longer reply on my blog about bird seed.

  32. I just wish for a leader who takes a stand...who does what's right and DOES something. Our President is often so bogged down by bureaucracy, even if he wants to do something he can't. Like the healthcare plan. Agree with it or not, it's easy to see how what the Pres. wants and what the Pres. gets are often two completely different things.

  33. This is an extremely interesting yet somewhat controversial subject in my eyes...

    I feel leadership has become more of an empty idea than anything else over the passing of time, and an excuse to minimise free thought, action and will within a person and/or society. More often than not it is a free ticket for power hungry individuals to oppress, manipulate, exploit and corrupt.

    There are many aspects to take into consideration in regards to what makes a successful leader and what may be good for some may not be all that beneficial to others.

    By what right does someone have the authority to dictate and govern the lives of others?

    I suppose this is indeed a many branched subject that needs to be taken into the context of the type of leadership that one is discussing - so more to the point:

    1) Wisdom, knowledge, intelligence, life experience, understanding, the ability to listen as well as speak, an open mind, acceptance, strength of character, compassion , empathy, fearlessness, gratitude, kindness, insight, forethought and vision, guidance, a good understanding and sense of community, willingness to stand up for what is right, fairness, steadfastness, balance and belief - to name but a few traits ;-)

    2) As far as I am concerned if a potential leader has what it takes to truly lead it really does not matter where he/she comes from.

    This has given me much food for thought - thanks Tom!

  34. Hey Tom,

    Thanks for dropping by my blog! I really appreciate it!

    Quite a blog you have here.
    I don't have a very good idea about leadership but personally I feel it is the ability to lead people and bring out the best in them. It doesn't just include being confident yourself as a leader, but actually about building the confidence of the ones who are behind you.
    Guiding the people who depend on you in a way which nurtures them and helps them become stronger individuals is a true sign of good leadership. Not just to lead, but to inspire is the essence of leadership.

    Take care

  35. An interesting topic, one which deserves more thought from me I think. Some interesting comments too, makes me want to find out more about Lincoln.

  36. Great questions. For me, a great leader has courage, honesty, and common sense. And those are the same qualities I use to define a leader. A bad leader is someone who uses fear and lies.
    We have had some great leaders in the past...I think Martin Luther King, Jr. was an excellent leader and Gandhi, of course. :)

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. Dunno if I can have a favorite leader...everyone is flawed one way or another, but I always dug Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.

  39. Sorry it took so long for me to find you! I'm finally settling down for few weeks after a much needed tonsillectomy. I am most definitely a fan of your blog! Thanks for stopping by mine!

  40. 5.- a leader should be open, honest, consistent and loving

  41. Thanks for the nice New Year message...wishing you a wonderful New Year as well...

  42. A leader should invite and relish diverse viewpoints. He/she should have the background and backbone to act with integrity, even when it goes against public opinion. It has been said that all great leaders are narcissistic, but I think the truly great ones, put themselves aside and look towards the greater good of their country and beyond.

  43. A leader in the world is being his or her word, without question. Not keeping his or her word but BEing his or her word.

    For example, if someone was to promise, oh something like...

    "I'll sign up for your blog if you sign up for my blog."

    A leader would sign up for the other person's blog; being his or her word.

    This leads to a premise that a leader lives his or her life in integrity.

    Now if that person makes a mistake or a promise he or she cannot fulfill, a leader will be his or her word and "clean it up" with the person he or she promised his or her word to that he or she did not fulfill that promise.

    A leader is responsible for being his or her word.

  44. 1- What are a few traits you see as important in leadership today? (2 to 6)

    Honesty, Backbone and compassion.

    2- What are some specific areas in the world you see our future leaders coming from?

    Is there a Hell on Earth?
    Until borders fall and we all kneel to united ideal then this question is mute.

    3- How would you view leadership today versus how it has been in the past?

    Our leaders have succumb to fear, the fear of the people.
    Where as in the past our leaders took actions because it was the thing to do.
    It's one of the reasons we are in the pickle we are in now.
    We have modern leaders and leaders that were groomed on the old ways and now they are all clashing.

    4- Who are some of the leaders of the present or past that you have the greatest respect for? (2 to 6)

    Mahatma Gandhi, John Kennedy, Fidel Castro, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Margret Thatcher, Alexander the Great

    5 – Extra question – How do you personally define leadership? (your personal viewpoint)

    I see a leader as the head of a family.
    Big brother or sister who looks out for those under him/her.
    How many of us would pout a sibling in danger or one of our children.
    I think a leader should take our lives seriously and be looking for ways to preserve life instead of defending how we live it.
    A leader should be looking for ways to knock walls down instead of erecting them.
    They should be our guide not our sword but with the courage to pull at the hilt if the need to protect his brothers and sisters arose.

  45. The results of the study were Focus, Intensity, Disipline, Enthusiasm, Consistency and Orginization.

    Thank you all for your sharing!

    The answers were great and I have friends, family and other bloggers that come and read here that are LOVING to read the comments you are sharing.


  46. 1- What are a few traits you see as important in leadership today? (2 to 6)

    Honest and trustworthy: A leader must have earned the right to lead by showing these characteristics. A leader must be real and sincere. When a leader shows humanness, those that are led can identify more fully with that leader.

    2- What are some specific areas in the world you see our future leaders coming from?

    Middle East, Arab Countries, China, sad to say we won't see any significant world leaders coming from the USA.

    3- How would you view leadership today versus how it has been in the past?

    Pardon my cynicism, but I see a vast difference between past and present here in the USA. Past, pretty far back in the past, leaders were elected based on their strong character of integrity, passion for the country, and their courage to step out and get the job done for the good of the people.

    As for now and the past 100 or so years,I believe our leaders have been put in place by special interest groups, a lot of behind the scenes agenda, and the old almight dollar.

    4- Who are some of the leaders of the present or past that you have the greatest respect for? (2 to 6)

    Mother Teresa
    Nelson Mandella
    Princess Diana
    Billy Graham
    Sam Walton
    My childhood Sunday School teachers

    5 – Extra question – How do you personally define leadership? (your personal viewpoint)

    Ability to walk in front, with confidence and integrity, knowing that the people are depending on their leadership.

  47. Wow! That was a hell of a discussion you got going there! Thanks for visiting my blog, I might never have found this blog if you hadn't.

  48. Great Discussion! I believe great leaders evolve from those who have first learned to follow.