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Traits and Actions Needed To Become a Top Leader

Managers are becoming obsolete and are being replaced by leaders. The new manager must be an expeditor and leader rather than an order giver. We have documented the skills and abilities that are valued in leaders today.

1. Vision - Leaders have the ability to see things as they should become. Defining the organizationís direction, the leader defines the organizationís future.

2. Communication - Leaders are able to get others to share in their vision. They communicate in a clear and powerful way. Whether in large meetings or personal discussions, they never miss an opportunity to pass along their message.

3. Flexibility - Leaders are willing to learn. Leaders will be committed to furthering their own knowledge as well as making sure others keep up with the demand for a better educated workforce.

4. Action Oriented - Leaders know that it is not enough just to gather up the good ideas of others. When new ways of doing things can be implemented, putting them into action will fall on the shoulders of the entire team.

5. Bottom Line Thinker - Leaders know the financial conditions and limitations of the organization. Once they have the same information as senior executives, it is expected that they will reach the same decisions.

6. Builds Rapport - Leaders let the person or group know they understand their viewpoint, whether they agree or not.

7. Listening - Leaders have a mutual interest in the matter under discussion. Letting the other party speak first shows they are thought of as equals.

8. Respect - Leaders do not talk at people, they communicate with them. They treat them with respect. Do not patronize them. Leaders help them remember that they have an equal stake in finding an acceptable solution.

9. Focus - Leaders focus on the emotional issues that connect them with their followers. Leaders always stress values shared by their employees, enlisting their employees in a mission that gives their work purpose and direction.

10. Innovative - A leader can think on his or her feet. In critical situations, they have to come up with the answers, not look in textbooks.

11. High Expectations - Leaders have found, higher expectations from their workers, the better results achieved.

12. Passion - Leaders hate bureaucracy and all the nonsense that comes with it.

13. Change - Leaders stimulate and relish change. Do not become frightened or paralyzed with fear. They see change as an opportunity, not a threat.

14. Energy - Leaders have an enormous amount of energy and the ability to energize and invigorate others. They understand speed as a competitive advantage and see the total organizational benefits that can be derived from a focus on speed.

15. Support - Leaders surround themselves with competent, responsibleFeature Articles, and supportive people.

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Dennis Sommer is a widely respected and world renowned authority on sales, business development and leadership performance improvement. He is a leading adviser, author, and speaker providing clients with practical strategies that improve personal and organization performance. He has held numerous consulting, sales, and leadership level positions with Accenture, Jo-Ann Stores, and CA, Inc. Dennis is also founder of two successful technology and management consulting firms. Please contact Dennis at: or

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