By Jo Trizila, TrizCom PR & Pitch PR, CEO & President
A brand new workforce will be entering the game with college graduation just around the corner. I’m seeing lots of press queries on what makes a good leader. These queries got me to thinking about what makes a good leader. Early in my career, I had some fantastic leaders and some not so fantastic leaders. I learned so much from both.
Here are 26 traits that I associate with good leadership. Introvert or extrovert – leaders are not born, they are made. It takes work, practice and perseverance but is so worth the effort.
1. Choose your friends wisely. You are a direct representation of who you associate with.
2. Always be 5-10 minutes early for everything.
3. Learn to take criticism and not take it personally, and learn from it.
4. A bad boss can be better than a great boss – you will learn everything you don’t want to be.
5. Never turn down a meeting request with someone you don’t know: you never know who they may be.
6. Get to the office early and stay late. The most productive hours are when no one else is there.
7. Always have a to-do sheet (I make mine on Friday afternoons so it’s fresh on Monday morning).
8. Learn early how to say no and mean it.
9. Following someone can be just as impactful as leading someone.
10. Learn how to play well with others without feeling threatened. Everything is about being part of a team. Even the weakest link can bring something to the success of a project.
11. Find one thing every day to be thankful for. A grateful attitude is appealing.
12. Find a charity that could benefit from your skills and assets. Generous people see the world differently. And volunteering brings you compassion. Compassion will take you a long way: it’s a trait that is admired and respected.
13. Someone is always watching, learning, growing and listening…and not just in the office.
14. Actions speak louder than words.
15. Remember to always celebrate the smallest victories.
16. Don’t expect others to read your mind. Be clear, concise and direct with others.
17. You cannot be everything to everybody. Don’t even try – you’ll waste a lot of time.
18. Always tell the truth – even if the truth gets you in trouble. Not only will you always be creditable, you will be respected.
19. Find the good. Everything and every person have some form of good. In tough times, people look to leaders for the good.
20. Surround yourself with smarter people than you.
21. Always do the right thing for the customer, for the employee, for the company, for your subordinate. This is the same as saying “be ethical.”
22. Set goals – personal and business. Don’t just look at today. Learn to look at 1 week out, 1 month out, 1 year out…
23. Over deliver and under promise.
24. Accept responsibility – never waver from this and be accountable.
25. Don’t make excuses – people don’t care.
26. Have a plan B, plan C and plan D.