The Defining Characteristics Of Leaders

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Chaos. Uncertainty. Unpredictability. Constant change. These are all characteristics of the world in which we now live, and all indications are that the world of the future will be even more chaotic, more uncertain, more unpredictable, and in even greater states of constant and unprecedented change and flux. Such circumstances desperately call for new leaders. Indeed, “if there was ever a moment in history when a comprehensive strategic view of leadership was needed,... this is certainly it.” For almost a century, writers have attempted to describe leadership, and researchers have attempted to identify the defining characteristics of leaders. The outcome has been one very clear conclusion: “Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth” It is multidimensional and multifaceted—a universal human phenomenon that many know when they see it, but few can define clearly.

Opportunities exist in all aspects of our lives to exercise leadership and to make a difference in the lives of others and in the directions of groups and organizations. Leaders do not need to be appointed or even “invited” to exercise leadership; they do it because they “care more than others think is wise; risk more than others think is safe; dream more than others think is practical; and expect more than others think is possible” It is easy to obtain the title as strong Leader when you know in your heart you are doing right thing for the “good of all”. When I was working in a
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