Hi Leader,

I suggested at the beginning of this year that you practice mindful execution by working to harness the disciplines of thought and action.

To build a habit of disciplined operation and implementation, you must develop learning loops that update your real-time decisions and actions - i.e., you pressure-test, debrief, and course-correct on the move. These actions are requirements of an agile leadership that thrives in the face of a shape-shifting environment.

You are a leader because you help the people you work with, not because of your title. You are a leader because you face the world as it is and help to open a way forward for yourself and others to create what is yet to be. Here are four other characteristics of a leader.

Four Characteristics of a Leader

To thrive as a leader, you must be informational, motivational, inspirational and transformational.

  1. Informational: You look at the data. You focus on the facts. You share these openly, transparently and fully. And you tell them honestly.

    Remember, the genesis of the next crisis is in what we do not know. You build confidence by demonstrating that you are a truth-teller. You help the people around you give their best by telling them what the case is. The beginning of change is in recognizing the situation you are in. As a leader, you must show us and share with us what you see. Be informational.
  2. Motivational: Your response to negative facts or data is everything. People focus on negative news because it gets them off the hook. It's an alibi, an excuse to not have to engage and do the work to move forward.

    For example, the state of the economy is outside your and others' control, but your response and the state of your economy are not. You improve your economy dramatically when you focus on what you can control and influence. The beginning of personal mastery is choosing to take responsibility to chart your path. Your motivation is in your stance, in the story you choose to tell about what you see. You never engage us with facts. You engage us by your action and the story you tell about the facts. We are watching to see what choices you make and what actions you take. Motivation is about energy, confidence, and self-worth, about believing you can and will make a difference. Create a motivating environment.
  3. Inspirational: The spirit is even more resilient than the body. You can run the 100 meter dash on motivation alone. For the marathon, you need to couple motivation with inspiration.

    Inspiration is found in the great recovery from doubt and from loss. You are given the power to make something out of nothing, to embark on what was never done before. Inspiration means to be uplifted and helped by something seen or invisible. You turn the impossible to possible, and the seemingly difficult into a graceful act. As a leader, your inspiration produces courage and fortitude, and it is contagious. We experience your inspiration and begin to find our own. You inspire us to believe in ourselves and in our own ability to create extraordinary results. Be inspirational.
  4. Transformational: To transform is to lead. You bring information, motivation and inspiration into action and you get a transformational result. Action is the key.

    Ours is a universe that loves new beginnings and initiative. It loves new birth and action. You are seeking to convert what was into a new realm of can-do power and possibilities. Half the work of transformation is in what you choose to release. Transformation is made possible by the energy and resources you free up and repurpose. You create a new future as you move into this new space. You lead by showing us how you transform yourself and your environment. You inform us, you motivate us and you inspire us to transform ourselves and our own future. Be transformational.

Now it's your turn. Engage in the act of leading. Inform. Motivate. Inspire. Transform. Become the leader you can be.

© Aviv Shahar