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The Leadership Equation: Characteristics of a Good Leader

There is no shortage of content written on leadership. A quick google search or visit to Amazon reveals many opinions on traits, qualities, and definitions of leadership. Why contribute yet another series of articles on such a popular topic? Good leaders are in short supply. I believe the popularity of the topic is a result of the continual leadership failures revealed each week in the news.

    \[ l_i = \left ( i_1 + t + f + h + \frac{s_1}{s_2} + c_1 + j\right )\left ( w_1 + u + l + \frac{s_3}{a} + e \right )\left ( w_2 + \frac{m_1}{m_2} + c_2  \right ) \]

where l_i = leadership/influence </div> Everyone can lead, though some should not. Being a good leader is hard and requires the right set of talent, skill, and character. Do you have what it takes to lead others? **Leader ≠ Manager** Often people will use leader and manager interchangeably. Some individuals are both a leader and manager. However there is a clear difference between the two. A manager is a steward or administrator of an organization’s resources and/or people. A manager is given authority to make things happen. Managers exercise authority over others. People are required to follow managers. A leader is an influencer of others. A leader does not force others to make things happen. A leader inspires. People choose to follow leaders. You don’t have to manage others to be a leader in your organization. Leaders can exist in all roles within the organization regardless of position. Personally, I am cast in both a leader and manager role at my company, though I prefer to motivate others as a leader. **How Does a Leader Influence Others?** Good leaders maximize their influence of others. This influence is simply the product of trust, competence, and vision, although this influence is hard to achieve. Over the next 9 posts, I will unpack trust, competence, and vision, and discuss 15 characteristics of a good leader. **Take a look at the equation above. Can anyone make a guess at the variables?** (Hint: each variable/numerator is the first letter of one of the characteristics.)

In Leadership (Equation, Influence, Leadership)
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