We live in a world of unprecedented lifespans, and a world turned upside down and inside out by the mass disruption of technology. You will be both employed and self-employed in your profession. The baby boomers are the last generation to enjoy the remnants of lifetime employment.

Why Lead?

More than ever before, in this digital era, we have come to understand that the world is interdependent and as such the traditional hierarchy of organisations is breaking down. We see more and more organisations who work in flat-line structures.

But rather than mean we should need less leaders we actually need more leaders – in fact we often find the need to display traits and behaviours of leadership in our daily working lives, even if we don’t have a title or position in the company which denotes this explicitly.

Drawing of a colorful tree - using colors to symbolize the traits of leadershipIf we are to truly tap into the full human potential on this planet then we all need to be interdependent leaders at times in order to increase our ability to solve issues and problems, to share and impart knowledge and learning and to advance mankind.

What Are The Traits of a Good Leader?

The tree above is a picture I created to visualise the traits of a good leader and it is colour-coded. I believe great leaders display the following qualities themselves and/or promote them in their people:

  • Red – Rouses & Awakens
    Passion – Enthusiasm – Excitement – Stimulation – Inspiration – Unlocks potential – Creativity
  • Orange – Over & Over
    Consistent – Reliable – Punctual – Dependable – Stable – Thorough
  • Yellow – You & Us
    Collaboration – Interdependence – Cooperation – Support – Greater good
  • Green – Grow & Nurture
    Develop – Mentor – Coach – Continuous learning – Empowerment – Share knowledge – Curiosity – Wonder
  • Blue – Builds Trust
    Honesty – Discretion – Honour – Values – Understanding – Compassion – Empathy
  • Indigo – Individualism & Authenticity
    Charm – Charisma – Difference – Diversity – Tangential and Lateral thinking – Innovation
  • Violet – Vim & Vigour
    Energy – Drive – Motivation – Positivity – Self-confidence – Self-belief – Sense of fun

What Is The Pathway to Becoming a Leader?

There are multiple ways to become a leader but I believe there is only one pathway to becoming a great leader, and that’s through seeking knowledge of self to understand others. This can be gained through more formal ways such as assessments, gaining honest feedback from those around you, a career/development counsellor/coach or training and development programs.

However, I also see great value in leaders seeking knowledge of self and understanding of others through exploration of arts and culture – whether that’s art, music, theatre and drama, history, geography or language. Such studies open gateways to understanding and appreciation which can greatly help leaders to express their vision and themselves better.


Adapted from He Said/She Said: The Leader In You.

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