Top Leadership Traits – Positive and negative

What are the top traits we look for in our leaders?

While looking for some material for a forthcoming leadership development programme I discovered an interesting article and results on top leadership traits. In 2006 in Minneapolis Police Department undertook some research looking at Leadership Traits in their officers. This data was analysed and rated by frequency of mention by other officers. The top 15 positive and negative mentioned are listed below.

While not all of us work in a police force, I am sure that having looked through the list (top positives) many of us would include much of these in our list of preferred leadership traits too. I for one have been frustratd by leaders that exhibited some from the top negative traits – have you?

Top Positive Leadership Traits

  1. Fair – No favouritism, evaluations (appraisals& reviews)
  2. Knowledge – Of job, smart, on policy & procedure, what’s expected of them
  3. Honesty
  4. Communication – Open, Effective, Know When To Speak, Good Interpersonal Skills
  5. Decisions – Make one, quick, good, tough, does right thing,
  6. Involve Troops (people), standing behind decisions, shares it
  7. Consistency
  8. Experience – street minimum 5-10 years, earned their way
  9. Support – growth, officers, personal & professional develop
  10. Trust – Believe in officers, is trustworthy themselves
  11. Integrity
  12. Common Sense
  13. Flexibility
  14. Respect – Treats officers (teams/ people) with, earns it themselves
  15. Approachability

Top Negative Leadership Traits

  1. Micro Manage – Does
  2. Favouritism – Friendship first, plays them
  3. Selfish – Self centred, self serving, self promoting
  4. Indecisive – Second guessing
  5. Inconsistent – Shift priorities
  6. Knowledge – Pretend to know everything, never wrong, not of job, know-it-all
  7. Decisions – Not making any, emotional, inability to make any
  8. Vindictive
  9. Communication – Poor, non communicator, dishonest
  10. Hypocritical – “Do as I say, not as I do”
  11. Close Minded – Not open to suggestions, won’t change mind
  12. Dishonest
  13. Discipline – Selective, more concerned with, group vs. individual, double standards, name calling, not recognition, heavy handed
  14. Inexperience
  15. Responsibility – Not taking, shirks it

Taking the time to ask our people what traits they like and dislike in their leaders can be a valuable first step in any leadership development programme.

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About Mike Morrison

Mike Morrison is a consultant and change agent specialising in developing skills in senior people to increase organizational performance.
Mike is also founder & director of RapidBI, an organizational effectiveness consultancy.

Comments

  1. Good stuff. RT @rapidbi: NEW Blog article- Top Leadership Traits – Positive and negative

  2. Great list of traits. Today I am reading John Maxwells book the 21 Irrefutable Laws of leadership. He talks about Influence being another trait that all leaders have. We can all strive to become better leaders.
    thanks for the list.

  3. Hi Julia, is influencing a skill or a trait?
    Mike

  4. RT@rapidbi Top Leadership Traits – Positive and negative: What are the top traits we look for i..

  5. Paula Jones MCT says:

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  8. List of Positive and Negative Leadership Skills:

  9. Great article! It’s important to understand what works and what doesn’t work…I especially like to the list of “Top Negative Leadership Traits”. We can learn from others experiences. I’m reading an interesting book about leadership called
    “Words for Warriors” by Ralph Puckett. Solid story-telling combined with hard-earned wisdom makes this one of the best books on leadership that I have ever read. It contains the crucial elements of leadership success and the tools to inspire others to achieve superior results.
    Here’s a link if you’re interested: http://www.ralphpuckett.com/words-for-warriors/

  10. HelenCharters says:

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  11. RT @rapidbi: Top Leadership Traits –

  12. Leah MacVie says:

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