Attributes of Leaders Part 1

May 15, 2006

By: Bill Harrison

Attribute #1
No matter how much you know about your business, trade, market, products, management, leadership, sales, etc., etc., - there is always more to learn. The reason is that all those things around you are in a constant state of change to one degree or another. You must be constantly seeking out more information to keep you on the leading edge.

You will never know enough, never!

Along with seeking out new information, the next step is to apply what you have learned. This is the most challenging step.

It is the most challenging because the application of new ideas takes time; usually more time than we are willing to commit to. That is why we hop from one new idea to the next, looking for a quick fix.

There are no quick fixes in the world of business.

The greatest challenge I have as a coach is to convince the client to stay the course until positive results are achieved. This could take weeks, months or even a year in some circumstances.

I know this is true:
applied knowledge + time commitment = success.

Attribute #2:
I am amazed at the effort and energy that is expended in dealing with “problems”. We define the problem ad nauseum, and then of course we must also find who is to blame.

Then we talk about the problem and who is to blame for hours, days, weeks or months. In a few cases, I have experienced these areas being discussed for years.

Often, I have discovered business leaders who are even proud of their ability to find problems and talk about them at staff meeting after staff meeting. Do you have some problems you have been talking about for quite a while?

Leaders focus on solutions; long and lasting solutions. That normally means that the existing systems must be tweaked; not that we must invent the wheel. Systems? Yes, there must be a system for everything of importance you do in your organization. It is the establishment of systems that forces team members to focus on solutions and that avoids problems.

We should be expending our energy on systemic solutions that eliminate or minimize problems.

Next, Part 2: Attributes 3 & 4.

Bill Harrison is President of the Phoenix Leadership Institute, Inc. and can be reached at (703) 909-8230 or by e-mail:

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