According to Napoleon Hill in his book, Think and Grow Rich (1937), there are 11 attributes of leadership:
- Unwavering courage. No follower wishes to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence and courage. No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader very long.
- Self-control. The man who cannot control himself can never control others. Self-control sets a mighty example for one’s followers, which the more intelligent will emulate.
- A keen sense of justice. Without a sense of fairness and justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of his followers.
- Definiteness of decision. The man who wavers in his decisions, shows that he is not sure of himself, cannot lead others successfully.
- Definiteness of plans. The successful leader must plan his work, and work his plan.
- The habit of doing more than paid for. One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of the leader, to do more than he requires of his followers.
- A pleasing personality. Leadership calls for respect. No slovenly, careless person can become a successful leader.
- Sympathy and understanding. The successful leader must be in sympathy with his followers and understand them as well as their problems.
- Mastery of detail. Successful leadership calls for mastery of the details of the leader’s position.
- Willingness to assume full responsibility. The successful leader must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistakes and the shortcomings of his followers. If one of his followers makes a mistake, and shows himself incompetent, the leader must consider that it is he who failed.
- Cooperation. Leadership calls for power, and power calls for cooperation.
Furthermore, there are two forms of leadership. The first, and by far the most effective, is leadership by consent of, and with the sympathy of the followers. The second is leadership by force, without the consent and sympathy of the followers. History is filled with evidences that leadership by force cannot endure: Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler. Leadership-by-consent of the followers is the only brand which can endure.
Note to self: how many of the 11 attributes of leadership do you already possess and are actively practicing, and which form of leadership are you aspired to adapt?