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real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination -

I used this quote to end last weeks bulletin. It made me think about the qualities of leadership and how we know leaders from managers.

Key leadership attributes are considered to be integrity, trust, respect for others, curiosity, passion, business acumen, initiative, drive and vision.

We could debate any of these but in my view they form a pretty good basis and people who have most of these characteristics are likely to be good leaders, but only if they actively work to the characteristics.

To differentiate leaders from managers is to be able to think in such terms as;

Do the right thing, not do things right 'effectiveness not efficiency.

Have a long term approach 'eyes on the horizon, not on the here and now.

Rely on trust rather than control 'personal relationships rather than hierarchical relationships.

Innovation rather than maintenance 'dissatisfaction with the status quo.

If these pointers give you some indication of the differentiation you will grasp some essentials of leadership. To me the great differentiator is the leader who has the confidence to stand alone focussed on the horizon while making happen those things that need to happen to realise the vision.

Leadership training usually involves identifying and imitating the behaviour of great leaders. But how can this be effective?

Great leaders are usually at their best when they stand alone doing their own thing rather than copying what someone else has done. Which in turn can mean that leaders are at their best when facing some form of crisis which makes them draw on the originality of their own fundamental values.

When you think about it working in a business with others is little different from a sole trader trying to achieve objectives.

In a business the leader will be thinking strategically while encouraging and guiding others to meet corporate objectives. The sole trader will be split, working on the immediate needs of the business with an eye on the horizon.

Whatever our particular situation corporate or individual our success will be based on our ability to always be aware of strategic goals and making sure we get there in the end 'no matter what it takes.

So who do we most rely on? Answer that question and you will know whether you are a leader or a manager.

If you are a leader you will thrive in the entrepreneurial world. If you are manager you are probably best suited to some form of employment. Only by knowing for yourself honestly will you get the right fit.

Tow Obstacles are the things a person sees when he takes his eye off the goal.

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Article by Michael Harrison, Author, Publisher and Business Consultant. Learn from an expert: Go to:

About the Author
Michael Harrison is an author, publisher and business consultant specialising in helping business owners and individuals to realise and release the full potential of their situation. He has helped many people to improve their business situations and advised and supported individuals to embark on new directions in their careers.

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