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Characteristics of a leader

Posted: April 14, 2011 - 7:45 PM ET - by Elisabeth

“It’s one of the characteristics of a leader that he not doubt for one moment the capacity of the people he is leading to realize whatever he’s dreaming.”

I don’t worry so much about “managing.” The communications professionals I work with are at the top of their game. They don’t really need to be managed, but I do think a lot about how I can be a good leader.

How do I define a “good” leader?

More importantly, how does my team?

By definition, “to lead” is as simple as “to take someone somewhere,” but as a business owner, with aspirations to build a company and make our services indispensable to clients, I want the trip to be one of inspiration. The people I work with are the key to being indispensable. How do I inspire them to imagine that possibility?

“My job [is] to awaken possibility in other people.”

Many books, articles, videos, even motivational quotes offer insight, but one of the most poignant pieces of advice I’ve seen about being a good leader – and being a passionate person – comes from a TED Talk by Benjamin Zander.

His wit and humor grab you from the first moments of the video. If you’re a music lover, you’ll enjoy this one. If you’re not, you may enjoy it even more.  If you’re sentimental, you’ll need tissue. … and if you’re a leader, well I hope it makes your eyes shine. It did mine!

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