The Coach's Corner

The Five Intangibles of Leadership

January 11th, 2016 // Tom Doescher // 1 Comment
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Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

Last year I heard Bill Hybels, of the Willow Creek Association, speak on the subject of leadership. He gave the appropriate acknowledgements to Richard Davis, author of The Intangibles of Leadership: The 10 Qualities of Superior Executive Performance, which he used as a basis for his comments. Here is a list of the five intangibles:

  1. Grit — Passion & Perseverance  The best leaders never quit. They say, “I think I can do this.” Often, they’re the same people who challenge themselves physically with marathons, mountain climbing, etc. They over-deliver to their customers/clients. Their followers notice this intensity and respond positively to it.
  2. Self-Awareness  The best leaders know two things. First, they understand what they are tethered to. This was Bill Hybels’ way of expressing that we are all a product of our past, both the good and the bad. What are you tethered to? Second, they recognize that we all have blind spots. Hybels quoted some research that concluded that leaders have, on average, 3.4 blind spots. Do you know your blind spots? Your team does. Do you have the courage to ask them?
  3. Resourcefulness  Bill Hybels says good leaders have a “high learning agility.” In other words, they figure it out. They identify what is broken in their company and they either fix it themselves or ask someone to help them solve the problem/s.
  4. Self-Sacrificing Love  Hybels says that because there are so many celebrity, narcissistic leaders today (I am sure you have your list), people are confused. He quotes the Gallup Organization, which has done extensive research on this subject, and he says he has come to the conclusion that if you want to be the best leader possible, you must love your team. He quotes a Bible verse: “Love never fails.” Does your team believe you love them?
  5. Sense of Meaning  I have written on this subject before, quoting Simon Sinek, Daniel Pink and others. Is the “why” or the “purpose” clear to your team? For example, Doescher Advisors exists to help business owners and executives achieve profitable growth that results in the creation of good jobs. This “why” motivates us every day. What is your “why”?

One Response

  1. Jeffrey Gatt says:

    This is an outstanding list – THANKS. I also believe that COURAGE is right up there as well – willing to take personal risk, be “unpopular” and not running in the face of adversity. All the great leaders I know never backed down from a challenge.

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Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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