As you read the following traits you may feel some of the terms are synonyms. In reality, there are differences, albeit subtle in some cases. These differences do help define, with greater precision, the characteristics of an excellent leader.
Teamwork is Active participation in, and facilitation of, team effectiveness; taking actions that demonstrate consideration for the feelings and needs of others; being aware of the effect of one’s behaviors on others.
Active cooperation by every member is vital to team success. Team members cannot sit back and observe or allow others to do the work; they must work proactively to achieve group goals and facilitate cohesiveness. Effective teams are not just collections of people. Rather, they are an entity that is greater than the sum of its parts. This means that team members must work together closely and make every effort to support and cooperate with each other.
Judgment is weighing alternative actions and making decisions that reflect the facts of a situation. Decisions are based upon logical assumptions that take into consideration the organization’s resources.
Judgment specifically deals with the quality of decisions based on given or available information. Judgment, therefore, is strongly related to Analysis. If a poor decision was made because of inadequate information, evaluate Analysis, not Judgment. If the employee decided not to obtain or consider information and a poor decision resulted, look at Judgment.
Collaboration is working effectively with others, inside and outside the line of formal authority, to accomplish organization goals and to identify and resolve problems.
Individuals often find themselves in the middle of challenging relationships that require great skill to handle. Because most activities outside of the immediate work unit involve a number of people, Collaboration is important. Collaboration will make the best use of resources when no direct reporting relationship exists.
Collaboration is different from Teamwork because Collaboration refers to working with other employees outside of your immediate work group.
Decisiveness means that you are able to make good decisions without delay. Get all the facts and weight them against each other. By acting calmly and quickly, you should arrive at a sound decision. You announce your decisions in a clear, concise, professional manner.
Attention to Detail
Attention to detail is when you are thorough in accomplishing a task with concern for all the areas involved, no matter how small.
Some jobs need people who can handle both the small and large parts of a task. Such individuals won’t overlook what needs to be done and can be depended on to do each task accurately and completely.
Attention to detail is also what makes the difference between a good job and an outstanding job. It is the attention to detail that encourages return customers, creates trust in your ability to perform the work well and respect for the professionalism you carry.
Dependability means that you can be relied upon to perform your duties in a timely and proper manner. Dependability also means consistently putting forth your best effort in an attempt to achieve the highest standards of performance.
Integrity has, for our purposes, two major aspects. The first includes the integrity around the ethos of our society but must also include our adherence to our ethical principles and beliefs.
The second deals with the integrity of the team, the organization and all the supporting apparatus. Specifically, we need to examine our daily decisions and actions to determine if they strengthen or distract from the optimal environment we strive to maintain and flourish.
Bearing has a couple meanings applicable in this setting. We should strive to present ourselves as professional, dedicated members of the organization. Our professional bearing will help instill trust and confidence in all that we do.
Bearing is also a directional heading. We need to constantly compensate for all matters of influence that could impact our bearing. Strategy, goals and objectives help us maintain our bearings and reach our intended way-points and destinations. Notice the way-points. Our destination is only as good as the work accomplished at each way point. It is important to celebrate way-point success.
Since almost all success depends on collaboration and communication, it stands that our ability to gain the best support is through tactful delivery of information.
One of the definitions of tact is to have or show a sense of what is fitting and considerate in dealing with others. This is not confined to simply saying nice things to someone down on their luck. It means knowing your audience and what’s important to them then offering alternative ideas that stand on their own merit without attacking their beliefs.
Coaching is our responsibility to help those around us develop their knowledge and skills. This means providing timely feedback, guidance and training as necessary so they may reach their goals.
The effort put into coaching pays off in so many ways. We avoid performance issues, build confidence, increase commitment and promote the ability to exceed expectations. “The goal of coaching is the goal of good management: to make the most of an organization’s valuable resources.” — Harvard Business Review
Adaptability is how we adjust our behavior and attitude to address challenges and opportunities in the most positive way.
Rarely do things go exactly as planned. There are so many factors that can influence the work at hand. In fact there are statistics that over 60% of major projects fail. Many fail because of minimal planning and mostly the failure to recognize or communicate problems along the way.
Adaptability is finding solutions to any problem. This may unfortunately include the decision to end the project or activity.
Initiative the active attempt attempt to influence events, take responsible actions and generally take actions that go beyond what is necessarily called for i order to achieve goals.
Setting the example means to encourage the attitude, conditions and environment that bring about a team’s initiative to improve performance. Initiative is all about anticipating needs and then stepping up to the challenge in addressing those needs.
Some have considered dependable and trustworthy as similar. Dependable means you will do the job at hand in a professional and effective manner. Trustworthy means you can be trusted to do the work necessary while supporting the ideals and general principles of the organization. All with little to no supervision.
Creativity or innovation is our ability to generate and/or recognize imaginative or creative solutions.
Creativity is viewing problems or challenges with different lenses to ferret out the real issues and potentially find new and perhaps unconventional contrivances.