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Leadership Litmus Test

Regardless of what occupation you may hold, what political persuasion you have, the size of your bank account, or your concern over social issues, it is becoming increasingly clear that most of us have one thing in common; a strong desire to clear the air of the divisiveness, rancor, mistrust, and wasted anger that has become all too commonplace in our everyday lives.

Perhaps it is an oversimplification, but the question needs to be asked — where have all the leaders gone? How many people are excited about the choices that have been presented to us in recent national elections? Many have already noted that they cast their ballot against a certain candidate rather than voting for someone they believed had valued leadership skills.

Don’t look now, but sadly, no Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, or Ronald Regan will appear in the next presidential boxing match.

So, who will you vote for, or more appropriately, who will you be voting against on the next trip to the presidential polls? It would be a good idea if we could be given a choice of TRUE LEADERS from which to select.

But the question remains, what leadership qualities do we want our leaders to possess?

I recently came across a survey conducted by Robert Half International (a human resource consulting firm) meant to identify the most important qualities important for effective leadership. See how they may be found in those you consider a leader.

Integrity: Good leaders are authentic, trustworthy, and reliable. They have strong moral principles that don’t waiver, even when they might close a deal or make more money by exaggerating or lying.

Fairness: It’s human nature to prefer certain people over others. Good leaders don’t show favoritism because they know to do so leads to bad morale. Empathy is the key to treating everyone fairly.

Decisiveness: People become suspicious when leaders espouse one viewpoint today and the opposite tomorrow.

Strategic thinking: Effective leaders play the long game. While not forgoing immediate gains, they also consider repercussions down the line and actively plan for the future.

Transparency: This skill is closely tied to trust and accountability. Respected leaders share information as soon as it can be divulged.

Accessibility: Leaders are busy people, but they shouldn’t be so sequestered that people must jump through multiple hoops to speak with them. They should be as friendly and welcoming as possible.

Collaboration: The best leaders work with and get advice from colleagues. Networking skills are important.

Given the way today’s political game is being played, it is hard to find an individual willing to sacrifice personal privacy and possess these seven desirable leadership traits. If you happen to come across one, please spread the word — that individual would deserve our vote!