The Art of Leadership

Usually, in Tuesday posts I have the sales management “lesson” series but I will vary from that for the next several weeks. Earlier today I was searching for a sales article for a client when I happened on a document that summarized a talk given by the president of a company that I worked for in the 80’s. The gentleman’s name was Bob Reiss. He was the brightest, most sensible, practical and enduring man I have ever met. One of my benchmarks for respect is would I be comfortable following an individual into combat; believe me, I would follow Bob anywhere. Unfortunately, Bob passed away several years ago but his words live on. The following represents several snippets from a talk Bob gave on leadership at a regional sales meeting.

The single most important attribute of leaderhsip is: Vision. This skill can be learned.

The second most important attribute of leadership is the ability to think in multiple time frames at the same time. This skill can also be learned.

The third most important attribute is hard work, which can also be learned.

Attributes of Leadership

  • Vision
  • Ability to think and act in multiple time frames at the same time
  • Hard work
  • Organizational skills
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Control
  • Discipline
  • Consistency
  • Predictability
  • Knowledge
  • Problem recognition
  • Practical problem solving skills
  • Objectivity
  • Discrimination skills
  • Basic business skills
  • Dependability
  • Communication skills (written and verbal)

Individual obsession without a following is frustration; individual obsession without perspective is fanaticism; individual obsession with a well founded vision surrounded by a following is leadership.

Leadership success is transforming your personal zeal into commitment and energy; transforming your vision into reality.

And finally. Strong leaders have strong followers. The most successful business leaders have always had the most successful people working for them. A successful leader is nothing more than a reflection of a successful group of people supporting him or her and the reflection of a successful vision fulfilled.

On Thursday I will continue with more from the talk that Bob gave.

The Final Thought: The enemies of modesty are taking oneself too seriously, self aggrandizement, and inflated ego. Bob Reiss


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