Six Characteristics of Leadership


In 2005 a friend invited me to hear Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, speak at a local college. The list below captures what he spoke about. Giuliani told us that after September 11th he had to make many decisions very quickly. He would make 4 or 5 and then close his eyes and pray, “Please make this right.” The first characteristic “Strong Beliefs” speaks to that. In this US election year I thought it might be helpful to measure your favorite candidate against these characteristics.  Are these the ones you would list as the most important characteristics of a leader?  What else would you include?

  1. Strong Beliefs – Leaders need a strong belief system, a vision of the future, and an understanding of themselves.
  2. Optimism – Who would want to follow someone who said, “Things are terrible and they are going to get worse.”?
  3. Courage – It isn’t that leaders have no fear; it is that they have learned to live with and overcome that fear.
  4. Teamwork – Leaders know themselves well enough to know they can’t do everything by themselves and so they find others to help them especially in areas where the leader knows he/she is weak or has no knowledge.
  5. Good Preparation – Leaders prepare for whatever they do. Whether it is a speech before a group, a court case, or rehearsing for a possible disaster, leaders prepare thoroughly.
  6. Clear Communication – This encompasses all the others. It is not so much choosing the right words as it is having strong beliefs, optimism, courage etc. These enable you to convey your ideas to others.

Do you agree with Giuliani? Here is a link to Disney CEO Bob Iger’s tips on leadership.  What are your ideas?  Please use the comment section below.

Coaching for Leaders

Interested in being a leader yourself?  Have you got a plan to get there?  Would you like to prepare one?  Need some help putting that plan together or perhaps you have a plan but you can’t seem to get going on the implementation.  A coach will help you to take some steps to reach your goal to become a leader or a coach will help you to make a plan and then set a timeline with goals along the timeline.  You’ll make faster progress, have an accountability partner who believes in you and you will feel supported at every step of the way.  I’d love to be your coach.  If the idea appeals to you too, call me at 781-598-0388 or email me at  to decide if we can work together.


Comments are closed.