* A common, but not universal, trait of leaders is honesty, a clarity of vision with no hidden agendas. It is this clarity which makes them so effective, people are willing to go along because they trust that the message is honest.
* "Manager" does NOT equal "leader".
* We are NOT all leaders.
* Leaders do not need to write a "vision statement".
A good commander is a man of high character (this is the most important attribute), with power of decision next most important attribute. He must have moral backbone, and this stems from high character; and he must be physically courageous, or successfully conceal the fact that he is not. He must know the tools of his trade, tactics and logistics. He must be impartial. He must be calm under stress. He must reward promptly and punish justly. He must be accessable, human, humble, patient, forbearing. He should listen to advice, make his own decision, and carry it out with energy.
Unless a commander is human, he cannot understand the reactions of his men. If he is human, the pressure on him intensifies tremendously. The callous man has no mental struggle over jeopardizing the lives of 10,000 men; the human commander cannot avoid this struggle. It is constant and wearing, and yet necessary, for the men can sense the commander's difficulty. There are many ways in which he can show his interest in them and they respond, once they believe it is real. Then you get mutual confidence, the basis of real discipline.
General Joseph Stillwell, 1944
To grasp and hold a vision... that is the very essence, I believe, of successful leadership.
President Ronald Regan, 1981
* More to come, email me your thoughts on this, I am fascinated.
Kevin Smith 3/97