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:
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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”?