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3 Less Talked About Traits of Effective Leaders

calm leader.jpg

1. Establish a ‘Steering team’, no matter how informal

The sayings ‘No man is an island’ and ‘Know thy self’ hold equal weight.

To be a leader you need to know what you are good at.

What you are not good at.

You strengths and weakness.

Concentrate on your strengths, use them everywhere you can.

They’re what you are good at!

Develop your ‘not-strengths’.

Once you know these things, then you know what type of support to build around you.

What type of people to have giving input, insight, advice.

You are over-worked, find someone who takes initiative, responds well to delegation.

You get combative under pressure, someone with a level head, consistent, calm.

You can’t always understand people’s reactions and motivation, a listener, who is insightful, full of empathy. 

No one is good at everything, can do it all, is an ‘island’.

Everyone can build a team, formal and hired, or informal ‘go-to people’.

It starts with knowing yourself, and what you need.

2. Escalate Gradually

You are under pressure, you have to deliver.

Results are expected.

And you don’t get that reply you wanted, from that person you needed.

Many respond emotively, reactionary.

Cc a manger.

Go to the top.



There is another way.

A way that doesn’t pi** people off.

That wins allies.

Builds bridges.

Bridges that can be used later.

For that next project, that next assignment, that next hurdle.

Always appeal first in person or by phone.

Email is not your friend.

Find common ground, common goals.

Influence, convince, show respect.

Read up on how to do it, like this.

Wanting to do something motivates far better than having to do something.

If it genuinely can’t be worked out at an operational level, seek higher input.

In a way that conveys respect.

That can be built on in future.

3. ‘Gotta get stuff done!’ – Execution

Everyone has a ‘productive time’.

For me it’s 5am to 11am.

For night owls, its 11pm to 4am.

You need to know yourself.

You need to know the points during the day you are more inclined to get more done.

Then use it.


Start small.

Build momentum.

Prioritize and execute around those priorities.

Don’t work on something of less importance.

You need to know yourself.

Procrastinating means you are uncomfortable about some aspect of the task, activity, work flow. 

Maybe it’s something you are not so good at.

Maybe you need a member of your steering team to help.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing”

What is important, is not always the same as what’s urgent.

Know yourself.

And what is important to you.

Then work on those things, during your productive times.


Stephen M Dick

Customer Support leader, team builder, process designer.

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