Expert Panel

Focus on these things to succeed in Executive Leadership / General Management

Understand which role you play in leadership.


When at a decision crossroads, do you know which way to go?

A True Leader Knows There Is No Right Answer….and finds strength in that.


There are many traits that define leadership, but one that stands out is the ability to know there is no right way of doing something.  When at a crossroads with a choice of going straight, left, right, staying put or turning around…how do you make that decision?  Do you see all of your options?  Do you get overwhelmed? Is one choice better than the other?  Is one right and are the others wrong?


A true leader is comfortable making a decision on which direction to take because they understand the result of their decision is based on what they do after making it.  They are inspired by endless possibilities, not overwhelmed by them. By determining what to do along the path, and following through, a leader believes the risk is mitigated and the reward is achievable. 


So how do leaders know which direction is the best direction?  They don’t!  But they educate themselves to be able to make decisions they can manage.  Their ability to quickly acquire, disseminate and filter information is a key component to their decision-making ability…then they jump in.


What role do you play in leadership? (click here to participate in our survey)

  • Are you an informant - Part of the group of people collecting and providing information to be able to make informed decisions?
  • Are you a manager – Part of the group entrusted to implement and oversee the actions needed to achieve success?
  • Are you a leader – The one who envisions the path forward?


No matter which role you play in leadership, appreciate the fact that one does not function well without the others.  Finding the place where you are best suited gives you and your organization an advantage and opens the door for your role to change throughout your career.

Here are some other traits that define a true leader.  How many of them define you?

  • The ability to visualize where you want to go…and see yourself there.
  • The desire to have others follow your lead.
  • The ability to define what others must accomplish along the way in order to achieve your goals.
  • The courage to stand up for what you need and push back on the things/people that interfere.
  • The confidence to be open minded to new information no matter when it comes…seeking it out at all times.
  • The flexibility to change direction when needed.
  • The charisma to engage and empower others to believe in your vision and in you.
  • The restraint to think before reacting…and the ability to consider all the moving parts your actions will impact.
  • The ability to make fast and impactful decisions.
  • The foresight to choose the right managers to oversee and drive progress.
  • The intuition to develop a trusted circle of qualified informants to enable informed decisions.
  • The knowledge that There Is No Right Answer….and finding strength in that.

Can you name other traits that define a true leader?



Written by Lisa WoodsPresident ManagingAmericans.com

Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, and dynamic business leader with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth. Throughout her career, Lisa has been influential in integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and developing employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors.


Do you have a question for Lisa?  Post it in our Executive Leadership Community, she will be happy to help: Ask an Expert


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