Leadership Traits

Leadership can seem complicated at times, but there are recurring themes. For VOCL, the three most important are considered to be Vision, Communication, and Teamwork

Defining Leadership

Perhaps the most important principle that identifies a person as a leader is that they have followers.  These followers can come from a wide variety of sources:

  • They are people that you have hired
  • They can be those assigned to you at work
  • They are people in your social organization (e.g., Girl Guides)
  • They are people in your social circle (friends)
  • They are people in your family


A desired end-state that focuses your actions and provides guidance to others (even in your absence).


The ability to make yourself understood AND understand others in the exchange of ideas.

Click HERE for a VOCL article on Communication.


Two definitions for you:

1. The ability for people to effectively work together to achieve a common vision or task.

2. A capability empowered by the cumulative strengths of people guided to achieve, and perhaps surpass, expected results.


The ability to forecast and act upon the impact of potential changes.



Being true to yourself in your leadership style, not simply emulating another.


Being trustworthy in making the right decision, regardless of the personal consequence.


The ability to convert people into followers through your personality.


Being the best at what you do and still striving to improve.


The ability to act in spite of the presence of fear.


The ability to determine and exploit the root cause of a situation.


Giving others the authority (not the responsibility) to carry out tasks on your behalf.

Chick here for a post that I wrote about why leaders delegate.


The ability to identify and work on the most important priority

(Also, the ability to Follow One Course Until Success – the acronym from John Lee Dumas at https://eofire.com)


Donating your time, effort and/or money to help others (of these, time is usually the most important).

Goal Setting

Leaders create S.M.A.R.T. goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.


Telling the truth regardless of personal consequence.


The ability to make others smile even in challenging situations (not to be confused with ‘being a clown’).


The ability to take decisive action in pursuit of a vision.


The ability to come up with novel approaches to existing situations.


The ability to learn from others and constantly striving to better understanding your surroundings.


You learn more from your followers, customers, family, etc. than if you were talking.


The overwhelming desire to partake in a particular activity or goal.


Thee tenacious pursuit of your goals in spite of obstacles.


The ability to come up with a logical sequence of steps to achieve a desired goal.

Positive Attitude

Your followers want to follow a person with an optimistic view of the world.

Problem solving

The ability to identify and rectify the root cause of an issue.


The ability to relate with and understand other people in a mutually beneficial way.


The desire to accept ultimate accountability for your actions and those of your followers.


Not only being confident in yourself, but the ability to project that confidence to others.


The ability to follow through on your priorities regardless of potential excuses (related to focus).

Servant Leadership

Putting the needs of your followers ahead of yours.

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