9 c's of leadership
Lately, I have found myself considering leaders I have known, looking for common characteristics.  Those things that make me want to follow them.

Characteristics that, if I can model them myself, would help me be a better leader.

Not every leader I have admired has demonstrated every item on this list.  Thinking back, each leader mastered one or two of these.  The characteristics that differentiated him or her from other leaders I have met.

Each leader may have demonstrated many other items on the list, but there was only one or two that stood out above all others.


1.  Compassion – Great leaders start by looking within.  When someone struggles with understanding or delivery, leaders reflect on what they can communicate or model differently.

2.  Character – A leader must possess integrity to lead others to demonstrate it.

3.  Comedy – Leaders able to occasionally find the humor in moments, and themselves, allow their teams to see them as approachable and human.

4.  Conscientiousness – An inner sense of right and wrong is what guides a leader and provides a measure for those who follow him or her.

5.  Consideration – A leader is not a leader if no one follows.  A leader’s people are his or her greatest asset and must be of equal or greater concern to the job at hand.

6.  Confidence – Not only must team members and stakeholders believe in leaders for them to accomplish their goals, but they must believe in their own ability.

7.  Conviction – There is no greater argument than partnering an idea or vision with a sense of inherent rightness.  Of every item on the list, this must be used sparingly, as consistent passion provides no differentiation.

8.  Credibility- A leader can have the best intentions, but they are all for naught if he or she is not believed.

9.  Courage – Forward progress brings with it the risk of failure.  Leaders face fears and create momentum where others may stagnate.

and because no list is complete without a bonus word…

10.  Creativity – Being able to see the possibilities, even in something that may seem logical and factual, leaves leaders open to new, innovative roads ahead.


My aspiration is to model all of these characteristics, but to pick one or two to master.  One or two that I can focus on to improve my leadership ability.  Which one or two would you choose?


I’ve always loved alliteration, but I was amazed that every list I started had so many “C” words in it.  What “C” words would you add to the list?  Which one or two do you aspire to master?  I’d love if you could share your feedback and keep the conversation going.