Given that there are 14 different traits of leadership that the Marine Corp identifies, and Square One Leadership has a goal of a 350(ish) word limit, the 14 traits post will be split into two. Part two will post tomorrow.
“Leadership is intangible, hard to measure, and difficult to describe. Its quality would seem to stem from many factors. But certainly they must include a measure of inherent ability to control and direct, self-confidence based on expert knowledge, initiative, loyalty, pride and sense of responsibility. Inherent ability cannot be instilled, but that which is latent or dormant can be developed. Other ingredients can be acquired. They are not easily learned. But leaders can be and are made.” – General C. B. Cates
There will be times when your leadership ability, no matter how good, will not be the determining factor in an outcome. However, there will be plenty of circumstances when it will. This is where identifying different traits and principles, and working on those traits and principles becomes useful to us as leaders, or would-be leaders.
It is advantageous to digress for a moment, to encourage readers to research the “Law of the Lid,” found in the book 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John Maxwell. So that you have a proper understanding of increased leadership ability.
Marine Corps. 14 Leadership Traits (1-7):
Justice – Justice allows leaders to praise and admonish equally, regardless of any external factors. Justice distills partiality.
Judgement – Judgement is another distiller of partiality and preferences. Judgement deals in the facts and their consequences as a whole, allowing a leader to make the best (not easiest) decision overall.
Dependability – Dependability necessitates little oversight, or micro-managing, for a leader. Once a task or project has been assigned there is security in the knowledge that it will get done, and done well.
Initiative – Initiative sees a need, and then meets that need without waiting to be told. Initiative mingled with dependability will cause a leader to find favor quickly.
Decisiveness – Decisiveness quickly looks at what can be seen, contextualizes the information, formulates, and clearly communicates a plan. Divisiveness is sharpened by learning to gather the known facts and their implications more quickly.
Tact – Tact sets aside personal feelings in order to maintain clear and open communication, minimizing the chance of an offense.
Integrity – Integrity requires all aspects of life and business to be above reproach. Integrity realizes that the ends do not justify the means, because the means are just as important as the ends.
Which trait is your favorite so far?
What else would you add?