This article claims to describe ten key qualities of leaders. Some of these qualities could be combined. For example, the sections that talk about inspiration and getting dirty hands both discuss similar qualities such as responsibility. Two other sections or qualities are similar as well. These are motivation and leaders as “a special breed.” Both sections discuss leaders as motivated risk takers. Of course, ten qualities is a nice round number, better than eight, seven, or six for an article title. Maybe this title was assigned to the author and he did the best he could fulfilling the title requirements. Maybe the author had a deadline to meet on this article and did what he could in the time he had available to write the article.
The article’s author, Randy Gonzalez, tends to contradict himself. His first quality of a leader says leaders have one innate “character trait that can be developed through education, training and hard work.” Then he goes on to describe the “single” character trait as multiple traits such as “physical and mental traits, intelligence level, aptitude and temperament.” Suddenly the single character trait is multiplied to more than one trait. It is hard to disagree or agree with the author when he contradicts himself.
I agree with the author that leaders are born with a certain charisma. Leaders either have it or they don’t. People are either influenced to follow these leaders or they aren’t. Think of previous leaders or innovators who had this innate charisma: President Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerman, even Adolf Hitler. The public followed these leaders by believing in their product, believing in what they stood for, or believing in their talent.
Leaders in corporations do attend leadership training where they can learn certain skills such as people management but knowing people management skills does not make one a leader. Managers either have people management skills or they don’t. Managers who have people management skills are known as leaders.
Leaders are more than managers. I agree with the author that leaders are masters at motivating their team. Leaders model what they want their followers to be such as being creative, being risk takers. I would extend this to say that leaders want their team members to think outside the box whereas managers want their team members to follow the rules of the corporation.
I do agree with Gonzalez that good leaders care more about the people on their team than they care about procedures. Team members are individuals with their own skills, goals, cares, and concerns. If leaders take the time to understand each team member, then it is easier to know how to motivate each team member. What motivates one employee may not motivate another employee.
My initial negative reaction to the article changed to a more positive reaction as I focused on the details describing leaders that people actually want to follow. Many of the article sections or qualities do overlap and could be combined into one quality. Multiple article sections allude to leaders wanting to stay on top of their game and remaining motivated. The mechanics of the article could be improved. The descriptions of what makes a good leader are on target.
Gonzalez, Randy. “10 Key Qualities of Law Enforcement Leaders.” Policeone.com. n.p. n.d.
Web. 25 Oct. 2011.