Some people are born with external qualities to be considered a natural leader such as charisma, magnetism, charm and beauty. For the most part it tends to work out if they can find tutelage or mentoring with someone to assist them with developing the more intricate qualities and values that would have them become successful with managing large groups and projects. In this blog we will discuss the “Attributes of Leadership” that Napoleon Hill listed in his book Think and Grow Rich.
The comments for each characteristic he has listed are from my own life adventures. Much of my experience in the role of leader began as an accident while I was in high school. One day the head lunch lady told me that I should start a petition to have Free Breakfast started at our high school. I had no idea what she was talking about, and I said, “okay”. So I created a petition and had the students and teachers sign it and then returned to her a few days several pages of signatures. She was so delighted. From that day forward she would tell people, “If you want to get something done, give it to Rita.” Subsequently, I led walk-outs, sit-ins, demonstrations, protest of all kind. This pattern continued through college even though it was a predominately white campus. I share that with you just to give you a general overview of my exposure to leadership opportunities. Okay, enough about me. Let’s discuss the Attributes of Leadership according to Napoleon Hill:
1. Unwavering courage based upon knowledge of self – Our strongest insights come from knowing our own limitations and strength. This way we can put the team around us that will support the outcomes even when we can’t do it ourselves.
2. Self-Control – This is an ego matter. Sometimes our magnetism and charisma attract quite a few distractions and tend to alter our focus and intention. Having self-control is a maturing element that requires intentionality and discipline to acquire. Once you have developed this, you will attract the most amazingly beautiful and sensual people you could imagine and what you would be present to is the energy they bring to your life. And you would not want to do anything to interrupt the contribution they naturally are.
3. A Keen Sense of Justice – Do you have the compassion and the ability to be circumspect and objective? This is a tough one for many of us because we either want to “rescue” others or take “selfish-care” of our own issues. To harness this quality I suggest prayer and meditation so that you can objectively determine the Universal privilege of who you are for others and with others.
4. Definiteness of Decisions – Every decision is both a good and bad decision the point here is to make the decision and move forward on working it out. Most people make decisions and then doubt themselves the entire time which in term destroys the outcome. Always seek to move in the direction you are going instead of questioning after the fact. Make the decision and stick to it.
5. Definiteness of Plans – There is work involved with this one. Most of us miss our opportunities because we don’t want to work out the details, the strategy or develop the idea. We think that the gift is the idea and then talk about it hoping that someone else will help us work it out. When the idea comes to you, the gift is developing yourself to the point of its fulfillment. Going through the ups and downs, ebb and flow and all the pain associated with growth, expansion and achievement.
6. A Habit of Doing More Than Paid for – This is a crucial element. Most people limit themselves in how they contribute because they want to withhold themselves based on the price that someone is paying for their time and labor. Opportunity is always present for us to share our gifts, talents and skills. When we look at our employer and say, “you didn’t hire me to do that”, we are saying loud and clear, “I am not a team player”. When we share our creativity that expansion alone opens the way for the Universe to give us more opportunities and more gifts. Always look to give, without seeking anything in return. You cannot out give the Creator.
7. A Pleasing Personality – How do you make people feel when they are around you? I have walked away from a number of business contracts and business partners because all they can see and comment on is the negative. Some how we have gotten into our mind that it is okay to put negative vibration into the space and then expect something positive to come through it. Pay attention to how you leave people when you are with them. This will be a sure indicator as to whether your personality is pleasing or not. This is one of the easiest characteristics to change if you ask me.
8. Sympathy and Understanding – Compassion as a leader is key because it allows you to hear where people are right in the moment. Some of us want to force the outcome and not accept what is going on in the midst of the chaos. When we can put ourselves in other people’s shoes and get a sense of how they walk through life it becomes easier for them to follow us anywhere because they know we have their heart in the matter. When we lack compassion, we also limit our view.
9. Mastery of Detail – Can’t see the trees because of the forest? I have heard over and over again that, “the devil is in the details”. As a Project Manager in the Technology industry I became very accustomed at looking at all the separate pieces and seeing how things fit together. A tedious process indeed and yet the overall success came from being able to break it all down to the simplest detail and build from there. This skill is high level and it can be mastered. However, you must be willing to work alone and quietly to get it handled in the right manner.
10. Willingness to Assume Full Responsibility – As self-explanatory as this sounds many of us look for excuses to bail us out If only this or that would have happened, and it didn’t happen because we didn’t make it happen. Having the ability to respond to the challenge before us is what has us be responsible. Most people take the blame; this is not the same as taking full responsibility. Make it happen!
11. Cooperation – In our society we have become conditioned to believe that cooperating is a form of surrender or a passive stance. When we cooperate we are putting forward our effort and genius to create the outcomes we are committed to see happen. Learning to cooperate with others and having the ability to create a team of people who are cooperating with each other is a true measure of great leadership.
These are the points that were brought out by Napoleon Hill in his book, Think and Grow Rich. I highly recommend reading this book if you are interested in pursuing a life of wealth and freedom.