Leadership Skills

The following is, by far, my favorite list of traits for successful people. It translates well into every day life and has helped me to refine my thinking about being a business owner. It comes from John C. Maxwell, Developing the Leader Within You: Leader Guide and is on page 122 of his The Maxwell Daily Reader: 365 Days of Insight to Develop the Leader Within You and Influence Those Around You . I encourage you to read both.


Character-Driven People Emotion-Driven People
Do right, then feel good Feel good, then do right
Are commitment driven Are convenience driven
Make principle-based decisions Make popular based decisions
Let action control attitude Let attitude control action
Believe it, then see it See it, then believe it
Create momentum Wait for momentum
Ask, “What are my responsibilities?” Ask, “What are my rights?”
Continue when problems arise Quit when problems arise
Are steady Are moody
Are leaders Are followers

Rely on your character, not your emotions, to do the difficult tasks of leadership.

This list is concise and spot on. I have difficulty seeing myself as a leader, and yet I can see traits in the Character Driven list that I have … most of them, actually. I've put a LOT of work into character development over the years, and recently experienced an overwhelm of Life that put me in Survival Mode. (as most of us who just survived the Great Recession can attest, it's easy to go into Survival Mode when the financial rug gets pulled out from under you).

Having come out of Survival Mode and into Thrive Mode, I can attest to the effectiveness of being committed to daily action as the primary factor in my change of attitude. Second would be surrounding myself with people who were a bit ahead of me in attitude and success, giving me something to strive for and providing me with encouragement along the way. 

What about you? Do you think this list covers it? What would you add? Do you see yourself in either list? I'd love to hear from you.

Related Posts