News From LBD
 May 2009 Vol 1 Issue 3
Characteristics of a Leader

It seems everyone has an idea of what it takes to be a good leader.  Warren Bennis, widely known as a modern leadership guru, has identified six personal leadership qualities.

Integrity: Integrity means alignment of words and actions with inner values. It means sticking to these values even when an alternative path may be easier or more advantageous. A leader with integrity can be trusted and will be admired for sticking to strong values. They also act as a powerful model for people to copy, thus building an entire organization with powerful and effective cultural values.

Dedication: Dedication means spending whatever time and energy on a task is required to get the job done, rather than giving it whatever time you have available. The work of most leadership positions is not something to do 'if time'. It means giving your whole self to the task, dedicating yourself to success and to leading others with you.

Magnanimity: A magnanimous person gives credit where it is due. It also means being gracious in defeat and allowing others who are defeated to retain their dignity. Magnanimity in leadership includes crediting the people with success and accepting personal responsibility for failures.

Humility: Humility is the opposite of arrogance and narcissism. It means recognizing that you are not inherently superior to others and consequently that they are not inferior to you. It does not mean diminishing yourself, nor does it mean exalting yourself. Humble leaders do not debase themselves, neither falsely nor due to low self-esteem. They simply recognize all people as equal in value and know that their position does not make them a god.

Openness: Openness means being able to listen to ideas that are outside one's current mental models, being able to suspend judgement until after one has heard someone else's ideas.
An open leader listens to their people without trying to shut them down early, which at least demonstrates care and builds trust. Openness also treats other ideas as potentially better than one's own ideas. In the uncertain world of new territory, being able to openly consider alternatives is an important skill.

Creativity: Creativity means thinking differently, being able to get outside the box and take a new and different viewpoint on things.
For a leader to be able to see a new future towards which they will lead their followers, creativity provides the ability to think differently and see things that others have not seen, and thus giving reason for followers to follow.

Are these part of your leadership portfolio?

What Leaders are Reading

"The E-Myth Revisited - Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to do About It" by Michael E. Gerber

 In this first new and totally revised edition of the over two million copy bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business.

The Bible:  The Book of Proverbs

These proverbs of Solomon are given to us so we can grasp wisdom, understanding, knowledge and the discipline all good leaders desire and should strive for.


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John Mason's book, "Conquering An Enemy Called Average" says, "tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are."  The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve.  If you run with wolves you will learn how to howl.  But if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.

The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate - for the good and the bad.  We should pray, "Oh Lord deliver me from people who talk of nothing but ill will or failure.  Rather Lord, grant me the companionship of those who think positively, of success and work towards it".
Choose your associates carefully.  This old saying is true; He that lies with dogs, shall rise with fleas. 
It has been said that 'Someone is watching you who is capable of greatly blessing you.'  Those blessings could very well be the good people with whom you associate with, people who see beyond you to what you can be.

John Branstad
John Branstad


"The winner is the one who knows when to drop out in order to get in touch."
M. Mc Luhan

"There is more to life than increasing its speed."

"There is time for everything under the Sun."


John Branstad