CRITICAL PATH II: The Characteristics of Dynamic Leaders, by Charles Parnell

The discourse in this country in general, and in organizations in particular, is that dynamic leaders are critical for organizational success. Distinctions between managers and leaders have been well discussed and factually supported. There is no question that both are needed and must be supported. However, the value of being a good leader is sometimes misinterpreted. Dynamic leadership characteristics have tangible outcomes that can create and sustain real change which works for group members. These leadership qualities can make the difference in how successful the organization becomes. It’s documented that leaders are made not born. You can become a dynamic leader if you have the mindset and desire to improve. This requires setting goals and executing an action plan to enhance the leadership knowledge, skills and attributes.

Here are some common characteristics of dynamic leaders:

  • Earned respect – because of demonstrated knowledge and commitment to people development and goal achievement
  • Honesty, integrity and focus – critical components for effective leadership
  • Clarity of work goals and the ability to communicate them
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Clear organizational vision and the ability to express it in simple language
  • Open-mindedness – the willingness to give divergent points of view a fair examination
  • Enlist others in their vision (shared vision) with the authority for decision making
  • Communication skills and style that connect everyone in the organization (from top to bottom) and the organization’s external customers and stakeholders
  • Sound and decisive decision making – decisions are made based on sound judgment and facts and are made decisive when circumstances require them to be made
  • Challenge the process – they seek to take processes to a higher and more effective level
  • Clear understanding of their strengths and developmental needs coupled with an action plan to enhance these needs
  • Passion for learning
  • Leverage team strengths – understand and effectively utilize team members’ different strengths
  • Celebrate team and individual contributions – contributes to continued success
  • Embrace innovation
  • Empower excellence

There is widespread discourse in organizations in all sectors (public, private, health care, and non-profits) that the focus must be on strategic goal attainment. There is a vital role for supervisors, managers and leaders to play to achieve them. As customer demands increase, the pressure on organizations to meet these demands will increase. As pressure to maintain and increase market share in particular market segments increase, the pressure on organizations to meet them will increase.  Therefore, it’s critical that organizations develop and retain their superior leaders. It will determine their success or failure!


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