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
- Fair – No favouritism, evaluations (appraisals& reviews)
- Knowledge – Of job, smart, on policy & procedure, what’s expected of them
- Communication – Open, Effective, Know When To Speak, Good Interpersonal Skills
- Decisions – Make one, quick, good, tough, does right thing,
- Involve Troops (people), standing behind decisions, shares it
- Experience – street minimum 5-10 years, earned their way
- Support – growth, officers, personal & professional develop
- Trust – Believe in officers, is trustworthy themselves
- Common Sense
- Respect – Treats officers (teams/ people) with, earns it themselves
Top Negative Leadership Traits
- Micro Manage – Does
- Favouritism – Friendship first, plays them
- Selfish – Self centred, self serving, self promoting
- Indecisive – Second guessing
- Inconsistent – Shift priorities
- Knowledge – Pretend to know everything, never wrong, not of job, know-it-all
- Decisions – Not making any, emotional, inability to make any
- Communication – Poor, non communicator, dishonest
- Hypocritical – “Do as I say, not as I do”
- Close Minded – Not open to suggestions, won’t change mind
- Discipline – Selective, more concerned with, group vs. individual, double standards, name calling, not recognition, heavy handed
- 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.