Monday, October 13, 2014

What makes a great leader?

Who was the greatest leader you have ever known - living or dead?
Fill in the leaders name: __________________________

What was the single, most significant characteristic that made them a great leader?
Fill in that characteristic:___________________________

Please answer the above questions before reading further.

We have asked these two questions for several years at leadership training events throughout this country and overseas. In the answers, we are attempting to demonstrate what it takes to become a great leader. As you might expect, individual answers to both questions will vary considerably in a group of fifty to a hundred participants. A consistent pattern emerges when we list the responses. This pattern further reveals answers about how people become great leaders.

Over ninety percent of the responses to the question of leadership characteristics have been attitudinal rather than a learned or inherited skill. People have responded with answers like:

Loving                 Helpful          Visionary            Purpose             Empathy
Empowering        Unselfish       Integrity              Humility           Passionate
Approachable      Honest           Godly                  Consistent        Respect For Others
What makes a great leader? The answer is attitude! All of these responses point to attitude as the critical characteristic of the person that makes them a great leader.
Phillipians 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!
1.     Our attitude as we begin a job directly affects the outcome.
1 Kings 11:11 So the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.
The San Francisco School Board selected three teachers for an experiment. They were told them they were selected because they were the very best teachers in the system and would each have thirty of the best students to teach. They were told to remove all restrictions and pour themselves into the kids to see how far these students can advance. These students scored 28% higher than any other group of students. But the students selected were just average students, chosen by drawing names. The teachers thought, they really were great teachers, but the teachers were just average and their names had been drawn randomly like the students.

When you begin a new project, what is your usual attitude, Excited - "I can hardly wait." Cautious - "I'll wait and see." Or Negative - "I don't want to do this." Are there certain new experiences that cause me to feel negative?

2.     My attitude toward others, often determines their attitude toward me.

At work a person's success is 13 % product knowledge and 87 % people knowledge. The four “R’s” of successful relationships, Remember their name, Request their help (ask directions), Recognize their potential, and reward their efforts.

3.  My attitude can turn a problem into a blessing or a curse.

There are three phases of a problem, realizing there is a problem, analysing what happened to cause the problem, and a choice of what to do next. Attitude comes in in making a choice, do we build or do we blame?

4.     My attitude can be my best friend or my worst enemy.

When hiring new people for any job, attitude should be the most important quality to look for. It should account for seventy percent of the decision. In psychological ratings for executive promotion the following factors are considered paramount: ambition, attitudes toward policy; attitudes towards colleagues; skills; and attitudes towards demands on time and energy. 

In surveys of why customers quit the following is critical. 1 % die, 3 % move away, 5% find other friendships, 9% leave for competitive reasons, 14% for product dissatisfaction, and a whopping 68% leave because of the attitude or indifference of an employee.

5.     My attitude, not my achievements bring happiness.

The thoughts in your mind are more important than the things in your life. Enjoy the process. Some of us have a destination disease - If only I could live there, I'd be happy. If only I could go there or blame themselves  - If I had not done that, I could be happy today.

6.     My attitude will change when I want it to change.

We can control our attitudes if we understand its importance. It is not what happens to me, it’s how we react to what happened.   We must quit blaming someone or something for our situation.

7.     My Attitude needs continual adjustment.

There is no such thing as a consistent, perfect attitude. There are several clues to the fact that our attitude needs to change; Lack of Time for self and for God, Strained relationships with co-workers, your mate tells you, if you begin to view of other people in a lesser light, and you become more cynical about life in general.

You can make adjustments to your attitude by: Saying the right words (I am Sorry - Will you forgive me?); Reading the right books; Seeing the right   people; and doing the right things

8.     My attitude is contagious.

People catch our attitudes just like they catch our colds - by sitting close to us. What positive attitudes do people catch from you? 

What negative attitudes do people catch from you?

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