How Many of My Top 40 Can You Say Yes To?

Leaders, on the other hand, know where they’d like to go, but understand that they can’t get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen.

Managers want authority. Leaders take responsibility.

We need both. But we have to be careful not to confuse them. And it helps to remember that leaders are scarce and thus more valuable." Seth Godin

In the last sentence Seth says "Leaders are scarce." What an understatement. The biggest challenge in dealerships or any business for that matter is developing leaders. Managers are taught to manage processes and people, but there is very little done to develop their "Leadership Skills."

Businesses generally hope the top job is filled by a "Leader," and they depend on that single person to lead the troops. The person in the top position may have had very little leadership training and/or mentoring during their progression to the top. Think about how many people you know who are in top jobs and then think about how they got there? Kind of scary isn’t it?

Becoming a good leader is not all that hard. It’s a matter of paying attention to a lot of little, solid, fundamental habits and traits.

Below are 40 fundamental traits of a good leader. These are traits that everyone should seek to emulate regardless of their position on the totem pole.

1. Leaders have pep in their step

2. Leaders are disciplined

3. Leaders arrive early, stay late

4. Leaders have a sense of humor

5. Leaders are consistent

6. Leaders follow the golden rule

7. Leaders don’t put themselves above others

8. Leaders don’t show favoritism by hanging out with subordinates

9. Leaders can be counted on

10. Leaders answer their own phone

11. Leaders return phone and email messages promptly

12. Leaders dress the part

13. Leaders show respect for others regardless of position or social status

14. Leaders say thank you…a lot

15. Leaders cut through the chase; get to the point

16. Leaders listen because they know others have great ideas too

17. Leaders understand the word "We" vs. the word "I"

18. Leaders pull others up not put them down

19. Leaders don’t work in fear of their job; they coach people "up" to take their job

20. Leaders do what they say they are going to do when they say they are going to do it

21. Leaders pick up after themselves…and others

22. Leaders know what they know and they know what they don’t know

23. Leaders take the blame when something fails and they give others credit when it works

24. Leaders communicate then communicate some more

25. Leaders help establish vision and direction

26. Leaders remove obstacles of production, not create them

27. Leaders attack a problem now, rather than letting grow it into a cancer

28. Leaders seek ways to simplify not complicate

29. Leaders seek knowledge, they learn, then they coach others

30. Leaders make the tough decisions now, not later

31. Leaders don’t tolerate a fearful workplace

32. Leaders are enthusiastic

33. Leaders set the accountability standard

34. Leaders have controllable passion

35. Leader detest the statement "we’ve always done it that way"

36. Leaders accept mistakes as a part of forward progress

37. Leaders see a problem as an opportunity to "fix it"

38. Leaders guard the processes but recognize when they are not working

40. Leaders lead from the front and they push from the rear

I’ve said too much, so that’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs