Three Qualities Every Leader Needs to Succeed on a Team by PETER BREGMAN

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Here’s a great article from one of my favorite authors. Enjoy!

“I want your help developing my direct reports into stronger leaders,” John* the new CEO of Fasseni, a $350 million technology company, told me several years ago.

Initially, I approached the request like any consultant might.

First, I asked John why he wanted my help. He told me that Fasseni had stagnated. They had been hovering around the same revenue point for years and their competitors were gaining market share. He saw opportunity and knew that success lay in the hands of his direct reports. That made sense to me.

So John and I defined a list of qualities a great leader should have, like expertise in their field, strategic thinking capability, common sense intelligence, powerful communication skills, problem solving prowess, and similar traits.

Then I spent some time interviewing him and his direct reports to better understand their strengths and weaknesses as they related to the list of leadership qualities we had defined.

Identify the goal, assess the current situation, understand the gap, and then close it. Consulting 101. Simple, right?

Only in this case, it wasn’t so simple — because there was no gap.

On the whole, the leaders at Fasseni were smart, capable, communicative, strategic people. A few were even charismatic. They were good leaders. Maybe we could have made incremental improvements, but, I told John, I didn’t believe it would be a good use of his resources. Our work wouldn’t move the needle enough.

We sat in silence for a moment and then I chanced a gut feeling. “There is one more thing I’d love to do. I can’t exactly tell you why, but I’d love to see your direct reports in a meeting together.” He hesitated — so far I hadn’t added much value — but he took a risk.

Here’s what I saw:

One item on the agenda was the slow down in sales. When that conversation started, the head of sales started to defend his organization. Prices are too high, he said, because of the CEO’s focus on margins. If manufacturing could reduce costs, then sales would pick up.

Three Leadership Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

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by Dan Black

The main reason why a leader falls comes from their inward life. This is because a leader’s inward life shows through in their attitude and behaviors. If not carefully protected or guarded out inward life can lead us to a collapsible failure. Below are three leadership pitfalls and some practical ways to avoid them:

1. Faulty Character-

A leader who has faulty character is prone to make unwise and unethical choices. You can become a successful leader with weak character but if you want to sustain your success it requires strong character and integrity. This is because a faulty character eventually leads to a leader’s downfall. Turn on the news and you will hear about many leaders who have fallen because of weak character.

Leadership expert and author Warren Bennis said, “Successful leadership is not about being tough or soft, sensitive or assertive, but about a set of attributes. First and foremost is character.” To maintain a high level of character I suggest following your core beliefs and values no matter the situation or circumstances. Settle with yourself that you will not compromise when it comes to areas of your core. Also chose to live by the Golden Rule.

2. Pride-

Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction.” Pride is dangerous because it causes a leader to think they are better than they actually are. They see themselves through an unrealistic lens. Pride can:

Prevent you from learning, changing, and moving into your potential. It causes you to think you have “arrived” in your knowledge and abilities.
Bring division between yourself and your people. It can prevent you from seeing things through their viewpoint or perspective.
Cause you to make unwise, uncalculated, and high risk decisions which affect yourself and your organization. They think they are a modern day superman.
To prevent pride become self-aware of your inward thoughts and personal talents (both strengths and weaknesses). Daily clothe yourself with humility and adapt a servant mindset.

3. Un-managed emotions-

When a leader is not able to control their emotions they allow current feelings to dictate their attitude and actions. This causes a leader to be driven by emotions and not the team or organizations purpose, goals, or vision. A leader with unmanaged emotions will have a hard time leading self and others well.

To control your emotions requires knowing and understanding your current emotional state then using your emotions for a positive result. Become aware of anything that might prevent you from controlling your emotions. This can happen when you don’t receive enough of what you’re personally need, like food, sleep, or relaxation. Even the best leaders have the potential to not manage their emotions when they forsake what they need. Be intentional about Developing Emotional Intelligence.

Read more from Dan at: http://danblackonleadership.info/