The Qualities Of Leadership Introduction

Poll number: 

Question-Week ending Sunday 08/31/03:

When you think of someone with great leadership qualities, who is the first person on our list that pops into your mind? Please read our Poll Commentary before taking this poll.

Pre-Poll Commentary:

If you wanted to define the word leadership, the many roles that leaders play and the qualities that make great leaders, you could fill volumes of books and engage in months of research and discussion.

Leadership positions can create power, wealth and notoriety as well as evil and disgrace. Leaders are the heads of countries, states, counties, cities, and townships. Leaders are heads of companies, organizations and clubs. Leaders are parents, teachers, coaches, doctors and students. Almost everyone plays a leadership role in some capacity. Most people play many different leadership roles, wearing many different hats and influence many people by their actions.

In this poll series, we will discuss the many qualities of successful leaders, with the hopes of making each of us more effective in whatever leadership role we play. We will discuss some of the many qualities below - that make leaders great:

The Qualities Of Leadership

  • Introduction
  • Honesty
  • Energy & Passion
  • Great Listeners
  • Being Decisive
  • Being Realistic
  • Great Communicator
  • Being Patient
  • Being Persistent
  • Being Flexible
  • Being Persuasive
  • Being Competent
  • Being Responsible
  • Sense of Humor
  • Great Role Model
  • Being Creative
  • Being Compassionate
  • Being Resourceful
  • Being Diplomatic
  • Being Forgiving
  • Willing To Take Risks

I hope you take part and enjoy this entire series each week.

Let us know in this Introductory Poll to this series "when you think of the word leadership, who is the first person that pops into your mind?" This poll will end on Sunday 08/31/03, when the results will be displayed.

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  • 41% voted George Bush as having great Leadership Qualities
  • 30% voted Colin Powell as having great Leadership Qualities
  • 18% voted Donald Rumsfeld as having great Leadership Qualities
  • 09% voted Jack Welsh as having great Leadership Qualities
  • 02% voted Arnold Schwarzenegger as having great Leadership Qualities
  • 00% voted Bill Clinton as having great Leadership Qualities

Post-Poll Commentary:

Judging from the results of this Introductory Poll on Leadership Qualities, it appears that my poll takers did not have Bill Clinton pop up in their mind when they thought of a person with possessing the many leadership qualities listed above. Bill scored goose eggs and was beat out by Arnold who carried only 2% of the vote. This is the kind of information that would make day. Since I learned at an early age not to talk politics among friends, I will not discuss any further the political ramifications of this poll.

However, I do find it interesting that the most contemporary names in the current administration were most readily on our viewer's minds. I have always contended that you are forgotten very quickly when you leave a position of responsibility - like owning a company or holding a high office in government or the private sector. Just months after you leave your position, people tend to refer to you as "Joe Who?" All that you have done is quickly forgotten. A case in point in this poll is Jack Welsh. I have done more reading about his leadership prowess over the past two decades than anyone else on our list. Jack was heralded as being one of the greatest CEO's of the 80's and 90's. He probably was on the cover of more business magazines than anyone else I know (judging from my subscriptions to most business magazines). Yet he pulled only 9% of the vote. He's now out of sight and out of mind.

Keep in mind that this poll series is about Leadership Qualities and not popularity qualities. Even though I thought Jack Welsh was a great leader at GE, the one quality he wavered on, which is at the top of my list for leaders is HONESTY. My review of his book Straight from the Gut explains my feelings about Jack. Like Rudy Juliani another great leader, Jack succumbed to being less than honest in his marriage. Jack constantly spoke of the importance of Honesty and Integrity, yet wasn't able to practice it at home. Perhaps that's why Jack did not get as many votes as George, Colin and Donald? All happily married leaders. If I had to guess by our members, we probably have lots of middle age women who dominate our poll results!

In our next poll, we will delve into the importance of Honesty as the first and most important quality a great leader should possess.