8 Non-Obvious Traits of Great Leaders | Founder’s Journal with Alex Lieberman

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  • Alex Lieberman (@businessbarista) is the executive producer at @morningbrew and the host of Founder’s Journal. In this episode, Alex discusses the 8 traits that have made the managers and leaders he’s worked with special.

8 Non-Obvious Traits of Great Leaders

  • Self-awareness and openness to admit fault
    • The best leaders understand their ‘circle of competence’ and the boundaries of this circle
    • Employees are more likely to communicate constructive feedback if they know their manager is self-aware
      • “Lack of self-awareness is self-sabotaging and prevents a person from experiencing compounding career growth” – Alex Lieberman
  • Decisive in the face of uncertainty
    • 90% of your choices are not black and white; learn how to thrive in the gray
  • Information hoarders and signal finders
    • Educated bets are not guesses, they are calculated decisions based on the data known so far
    • The best leaders are the best listeners, with a keen ability to sift through the noise
  • Balance operational excellence with compassion
    • Leaders can not think of everything in terms of efficiency
      • It can create a well-oiled business machine but to retain your employees, they must feel empowered and supported
      • efficiency/effectiveness = emotion/compassion
  • Marry pattern-matching with intuition and gut-instincts
    • People who have a lot of experience actively look for patterns to inform their decision making
      • This is great to solve reoccurring problems and create efficiency
      • But, the experience can be blinding. You may try to draw patterns that don’t exist.
    • Intuition is necessary to solve your new problems
  • Common sense > super high IQ
    • Intelligence and performance are not always strongly correlated
      • Certainly, a base level of knowledge is required in most cases but the majority of critical thinking derives from logic and common sense
  • Exceptional explainers
    • To be a great explainer, you must be great at understanding
      • Leaders know their industry, job function, business processes at a conceptual and fundamental level
    • Great leaders don’t speak in jargon, they speak in truth that makes sense to the layman
  • No task is beneath the best leaders
    • There is a difference between delegation and laziness
      • Good leaders delegate when they are not qualified for a task or when they think it’s a great growth opportunity for an employee
      • They won’t hesitate to step into any task, regardless of their job description
    • New Zealand All Blacks rugby team mantra: Sweeping the shed – no individual is bigger than the team or its ancestors
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Notes By Drew Waterstreet

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