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Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric Co., said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

A leader’s passion must be communicated clearly and passionately. Passion is contagious and will be the buy in for those you are leading.Jaynie Ellison

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Organizations need leaders at every level. Leaders aren’t just born. They have specific character traits, but those qualities require development. Intrinsic traits such as intellect, physical attractiveness, etc. are not necessary. Good leadership traits can be cultivated.

A leader must be a visionary, not a wishful thinker. A clear, vivid picture of direction and a solid sense of how to achieve success is what leading is all about. Vision paints the target.  Having an aim is what it takes to guide others on the path of success. Objectives help you move from the known to the unknown. Vision leads the leader.

A person of integrity is the same inside and out. Morals are evident in their actions. A leader with integrity is a person of their word, building trust and inspiring excellence. Trust is established by doing the right things even when it may be easier to veer from that path. Honest, predictable reactions and well-controlled emotions point to integrity. The relationship between integrity and trust is clear. A leader must have the trust of followers to be approachable and effective.

Commitment separates doers from dreamers. Targeted goals are set and pursued with confidence, while disappointments are viewed as challenges. Dedication means spending whatever time or energy necessary to accomplish the task at hand. Doing whatever it takes to complete the next step toward the vision is inspiring. Such devotion encourages perseverance.

Magnanimity is giving credit where it is due. A magnanimous leader ensures that credit for successes is spread as widely. Avoid being a “glory hog.” Take personal responsibility for failures. Reverse magnanimity helps other people feel good about themselves and draws the team closer. Spreading fame and taking blame is a trademark of effective leadership.

A humble leader tries to uplift everyone. Leaders with humility also understand that their status does not make them a god. Mahatma Gandhi is a role model for Indian leaders, and he pursued a “follower-centric” leadership role.

Fairness means dealing with others consistently. Build a reputation for justice, not tyranny. A leader must check facts and hear everyone out before passing judgment. Avoid leaping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence. Establishing yourself as the common enemy is counterproductive. People who feel they that are treated fairly, reward a leader with loyalty and dedication.

Assertiveness should not be confused with aggression. It is the ability to state expectations clearly to circumvent misunderstandings. Boldness is necessary to get results.

Many leaders have difficulty striking the right balance of assertiveness. The most common weakness among aspiring leaders is often under-assertiveness, AKA “the need to please,” or over-assertiveness. Most err on the side of over-assertiveness. There is a fine line between the perception of totalitarianism and a confident leader. Proceed with caution.

Sense of humor
A sense of humor is vital to relieving tension and monotony. It can also defuse hostility. Humor is associated with intelligence and creativity. Both are valuable commodities in the workplace. Effective leaders use humor to energize their team. Laughter can actually create a productive and healthy work environment.

Jaynie Ellison is a Director / Partner at ExhibitRecruiter, Inc. Founded in 1998, ExhibitRecruiter is the recognized leading recruitment agency for firms that specialize in design, production, management and on-site execution of integrated marketing programs including exhibits, events, permanent and mobile environments and executive briefing centers throughout North America and Europe. Their clients are face-to-face marketing agencies that transform brands into actively engaging environments. ExhibitRecruiter focuses exclusively in the experiential marketing sector. Her complete bio is on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jaynieellison She can also be reached at jaynie@ExhibitRecruiter.com Her direct line is 1-800-491-5434. For more information, go to www.ExhibitRecruiter.com.

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