What skills does a leader need? The top leadership skill listed on LinkedIn is persuasiveness, closely aligned with Charisma. See John F Kennedy, below, possibly the twentieth century's most charismatic and glamorous leaders, whose vision led to the first man on the moon fifty years ago.
Below: 50 years since the first moonshot - Inspired by the leadership of President John F Kennedy
Without persuasiveness, how will you get people to follow you?
The second is Formidability. My friend John Hynes, a formidable leader, built a $25 billion city in South Korea and redeveloped Boston's seaport for $4 Billion. You can find out more about his formidability if you click on his image.
Below: John Hynes, CEO of Boston Global Investors
One leadership skill that will be absolutely paramount in the next ten years will be adaptability. It won't be the strongest or the toughest that will survive and thrive in a world that's changing faster and more unpredictably than ever.
It will be the most flexible leader, most able to change rapidly when needed, sometimes overturning his entire strategy overnight when the circumstances dictate it.
Is Leadership born or made?
Trait theory suggests that it is born. Leaders tend to be extraverted, conscientious, and smart, all of which have a genetic component. Intelligence is between 50-80% inherited, for example.
But there's a counter-argument that 50% of the population believed that you can develop leadership and that it's a learned skill. After all, Leadership is more about EQ than IQ, and Emotional Intelligence can be learned.
The 34th President of United States, Dwight.D.Eisenhower once said, "The supreme quality of leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office."
But when he said this, was he telling the truth?
Just kidding - Honesty and integrity are two important ingredients that make a good leader. How can you expect your followers to be honest when you lack these qualities yourself? Leaders succeed when they stick to their values and core beliefs, and without ethics, this will not be possible.