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Spent a lot of time thinking about this over the years to come to the conclusions below. I left out some of the more obvious things that people tend to think of when they think of leadership skills.

A Skilled Leader...

Has the Ability to Stand Alone. While few people will be faced with a situation where they must stand completely alone, the more alone you are, the greater your leadership ability. If you stand with 30 people believing in something that everyone else is against or doubts, that takes much more courage than to join a movement of 30,000. Leadership means paving the way, otherwise you cannot be leading by definition, you would be joining or following. Being the first means taking the accusations, questions, opposition, and doubt. A leader is ok with this, and sees it as a necessary step in changing the world. In fact often even when it is extremely diificult it still feels refreshing and right, which is empowering and a bit addictive.
Knows Himself/Herself. A leader spends time introspecting and reflecting. They are honest and thorough in their self-analysis, thinking no less and no greater of themselves than is the actual truth. You won't hear false humility statements from them. If they are skilled at something they admit it and are proud of themselves. If they have a weakness they admit that too with perfect accuracy. They know what their top weaknesses and temptations are and they work to fight these, while improving and testing the limits of their strengths.
Knows What is Their Role, and Other's Roles and Does Not Take On Someone Else's Role. A skilled leader is comfortable in their own skin. You won't hear them make statements like "I can do anything I set my mind to." A mediocre leader may make such statements but a great leader knows their limitations as a human being. A skilled leader is aware of where the line and limitation is for their own power and the power of others. The map has been drawn out in his/her mind and the leader realizes that to cross it and take on someone's job is both ineffective and dangerous. They rely on others constantly and think no less of themselves for it,They see the interconnectedness of humanity plainly before them and are keenly aware of it. Instead of being jealous or depressed about this they rejoice in it, seeing the close relationships that can grow from this as well as the added power that can be channeled when people work together.
Creates New Perspectives. A skilled leader is an independent and creative thinker. He/she doesn't dwell in the boxes of thought that exist, the common or popular perspectives of society. Upon evaluation of these "boxes" the leader finds them flawed and works to develop a bigger, more improved box. A leader realizes no box is perfect and is simply one angle of vision and that greater accuracy is acheived when more boxes are present. Just around the time people are starting to accept the new box and think inside of it, the leader has developed another box and is working on his/her third. Always two steps ahead of the crowd, the leader challenges, creates, and empowers the people with perspectives and ideas.
Thinks Big Thoughts. Not only does a great leader have big dreams, but the actual daily thought processes of such a leader are big as well. In fact this is how the big dreams came about in the first place, almost by accident when the leader was simply involved in creative thought. The leader dwells in the world of possibility and achievement. A great leader doesn't simply look at what exists and seize hold of current opportunities, no the best leaders create opportunity from scratch and plow through heavy doors because they see the unseen and have mapped out the course in their minds. They can follow it blindfolded because they have chosen the worthiest of causes. They have not only wrapped their mind around it but their heart as well; it has personal significance to them and they have dwelt upon it fondly so long that it is second nature.
Leads Wherever They Are. There are many different leadership styles. Some people are hands-on, giving commands and direction, some people are indirect motivating through books and radio, some are strategist-leaders devising plans behind the scenes. But the bottom line is a leader will lead wherever they are in their unique way. If you look closely you can find leaders in every place. At school a leader may be the person who challenges the textbook, irritating the professor. It could also be the person in that same class who sits in the back and works untiringly on an entirely different project than the assignment, getting a low grade in the class in order to finish their personal project. It could be the person who speaks out and offers examples and adds new perspectives to the discussion. It may be the person who organizes a study group after class and drills each student using a unique method of study. Leaders lead without realizing they are doing it. Because their thought processes and goals are different from the norm, they are shaped by them to actually be different and they can't suddenly change and become a follower just because they are not in a leadership position.
Feels Things Deeply. This doesn't mean all leaders are super emotional. Some are more emotional than others. But They are more sensitive to things that are destructive than are other people. If something is going wrong or someone is being hurt they are the first to know and the first to care. For some leaders it's things like injustice and incompetence. For others it's things like lack of mercy and understanding. All leaders should work to round themsleves out and feel righteous indignation for all wrongs, while still being specialized in certain ones and working in their particular role to combat the wrongs they are best at fighting.
Studies Great Minds. A leader has a fascination with the human mind. And I'm not just talking about prominant people such as MLK or Socrates. A leader recognizes a quality of greatness even if it's in someone who is not known or respected. The quality makes the person great, not the position in a leaders mind. The human mind is capable of wisdom, intelligence, and greatness. When a leader finds someone with great thoughts they seek to get to know the person, to drill them, to ask questions, to study them, that they might grow themselves. A great mind is an abundant resource that a skilled leader will not let pass by.
Gets Wisdom From Anywhere/Everywhere. A real leader judges wisdom, knowledge, and advice by whether it works and makes sense, not by the medium that is delivering it. With the high goal of seeking to expand their understanding and everything else paling in significance, they become humble enough to accept advice from little children if what the child says is wise. Their eyes and their ears are always open and they piece together information from many different sources to gain understanding.
Uses Their Personality to Lead. The best leaders are real with you. Yes they may study up on how to be larger than life, persuasive, or motivational, but they don't come across as fake. The goal is to enlarge their own personalitiy, to become more powerful and skilled, not to gut themselves of their uniqueness. They incorporate attitude, humor, passion, and wit and never adopt a fake personality or style to bring their message across. They use their story, their views, their emotions to give their message power. While they may speak of other's struggles or agree with others views at times they still understand themselves to be the medium of that message and they make sure that medium is alive and vibrant with personality so that the viwers pay attention and maintain interest.


Puts the Needs and Interests of the People Under their Charge Before their Own Personal Needs and Interests.
I once heard of this hypothetical scenario - I think it was a pastor who mentioned it - anyway he asked if their was a train coming and your child was on the railroad tracks and you only had time to either save your child or the hundreds of people on the train which would you choose? While it may not be morally wrong necessarily to choose your own kid in such a situation, the best leaders can choose the people on the train. Yes, it's painful and difficult but they can still do it. They are able to make the decision rationally and logically, based on what is best for society, not what is best for themselves and their families. With the higher goal of impacting the world with their lives, the best leaders make everything else secondary. This is not to say that they have no interests or ignore their own needs. It just means that when faced with a choice they choose the higher cause. They understand that as a leader it is their role to make these kinds of choices and they take the responsibility and do well with it.
 

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Leads Wherever They Are. There are many different leadership styles. Some people are hands-on, giving commands and direction, some people are indirect motivating through books and radio, some are strategist-leaders devising plans behind the scenes. But the bottom line is a leader will lead wherever they are in their unique way. If you look closely you can find leaders in every place. At school a leader may be the person who challenges the textbook, irritating the professor. It could also be the person in that same class who sits in the back and works untiringly on an entirely different project than the assignment, getting a low grade in the class in order to finish their personal project. It could be the person who speaks out and offers examples and adds new perspectives to the discussion. It may be the person who organizes a study group after class and drills each student using a unique method of study. Leaders lead without realizing they are doing it. Because their thought processes and goals are different from the norm, they are shaped by them to actually be different and they can't suddenly change and become a follower just because they are not in a leadership position.
Uses Their Personality to Lead. The best leaders are real with you. Yes they may study up on how to be larger than life, persuasive, or motivational, but they don't come across as fake. The goal is to enlarge their own personalitiy, to become more powerful and skilled, not to gut themselves of their uniqueness. They incorporate attitude, humor, passion, and wit and never adopt a fake personality or style to bring their message across. They use their story, their views, their emotions to give their message power. While they may speak of other's struggles or agree with others views at times they still understand themselves to be the medium of that message and they make sure that medium is alive and vibrant with personality so that the viwers pay attention and maintain interest.


Puts the Needs and Interests of the People Under their Charge Before their Own Personal Needs and Interests.
I once heard of this hypothetical scenario - I think it was a pastor who mentioned it - anyway he asked if their was a train coming and your child was on the railroad tracks and you only had time to either save your child or the hundreds of people on the train which would you choose? While it may not be morally wrong necessarily to choose your own kid in such a situation, the best leaders can choose the people on the train. Yes, it's painful and difficult but they can still do it. They are able to make the decision rationally and logically, based on what is best for society, not what is best for themselves and their families. With the higher goal of impacting the world with their lives, the best leaders make everything else secondary. This is not to say that they have no interests or ignore their own needs. It just means that when faced with a choice they choose the higher cause. They understand that as a leader it is their role to make these kinds of choices and they take the responsibility and do well with it.
I have all of those traits except these.
 

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Erm, I'm not quite sure how this has anything to do with INTJs. Sounds like a passage from something like 'Make yourself a better manager: 13987235029 easy steps to success'.
:laughing: For me it was a very inspiring opus magnum "Leadership. As seen by NF". :laughing:


Puts the Needs and Interests of the People Under their Charge Before their Own Personal Needs and Interests.[/B] I once heard of this hypothetical scenario - I think it was a pastor who mentioned it - anyway he asked if their was a train coming and your child was on the railroad tracks and you only had time to either save your child or the hundreds of people on the train which would you choose? While it may not be morally wrong necessarily to choose your own kid in such a situation, the best leaders can choose the people on the train. Yes, it's painful and difficult but they can still do it. They are able to make the decision rationally and logically, based on what is best for society, not what is best for themselves and their families. With the higher goal of impacting the world with their lives, the best leaders make everything else secondary. This is not to say that they have no interests or ignore their own needs. It just means that when faced with a choice they choose the higher cause. They understand that as a leader it is their role to make these kinds of choices and they take the responsibility and do well with it.
Since when this has become a leaders' trait? This is a highway to neurosis (read about nurses or social workers). I'd tell more: the things like communism would remain only a concept on paper, if people put their needs and the needs of their families above the needs of abstract humanity. I'd choose my kid. Moreover, I'd understand the person, who has chosen own kid and not saved my family because of this. Moreover, the justice, although not perfect, also has a "discount" for such cases. I don't say, we should only care about our own good, I'm pretty idealistic myself but in extreme cases like this, defending their own good is a natural instinct. Really strange comparison.

Leading the team is definitely not about putting the needs of the others above your own. Talking in the language of idealism, this is about having high morale, allowing to make choices, serving your needs and the needs of the team members (win - win); it's about understanding the needs and readiness to compromise sometimes; it's about the balance but definitely not about purely serving the others. Although the concept of serving becomes popular in leadership now, this is just a metaphor for empathy, being attentive to your employees or team members, not about real serving.

The rest sound pretty fine but shows only part of the picture (partially describes envisioning, excellently describes inspiring and energizing and partially describes enabling). Key elements of skilled leadership are missed: ability to talk the vision clearly, to prepare a plan - inspiring enough but down-to-earth and executable unless one wants the team deeply disappointed, and finally executing and being accountable for results.

I think, I'd remain in a camp of 5E model fans ;)
 

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Actually, I don't have a huge problem with this list per se...

I just think the language is a bit fluffy. How about if we just said that a leader is:

willing to stand up for something correct even in the face of adversity,
understands his/her limitations,
applies knowledge to all situations,
exhibits certain traits in many types of situations,
seeks out knowledge and examples that can apply to current situations,
isn't fake, and
is not a self-serving jerk

That kind of paraphrases the touchy-feely lovefest into normal person language....
 

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I don't want to be a leader but I often end up being one anyway. This is very annoying. I have begun to practice stealth leadership.

Ten Qualities of a Stealth Leader (I have spent 5 minutes on this insightful list)

1. Can guide discussions to a workable solution.
2. Identifies problems before others, and privately comes up with possible solutions.
3.Has gained the official leader's trust.
4. Has gained all team members' trust.
5. Is a good listener.
6. Skilled at understanding other people's strengths and weaknesses and finding appropriate roles for them.
7. Never gossips and is generous with praise.
8. Seen as reliable and a good problem solver.
9. Sees the big picture.
10. Doesn't need to be seen as the star.
 

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Apparently I am a good leader. Being called one bothers me. I don't feel that I am a leader.
 

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I don't want to be a leader but I often end up being one anyway. This is very annoying. I have begun to practice stealth leadership.

Ten Qualities of a Stealth Leader (I have spent 5 minutes on this insightful list)

1. Can guide discussions to a workable solution.
2. Identifies problems before others, and privately comes up with possible solutions.
3.Has gained the official leader's trust.
4. Has gained all team members' trust.
5. Is a good listener.
6. Skilled at understanding other people's strengths and weaknesses and finding appropriate roles for them.
7. Never gossips and is generous with praise.
8. Seen as reliable and a good problem solver.
9. Sees the big picture.
10. Doesn't need to be seen as the star.
actually, your list dovetails with mine and what i will term the 'foofy' list... congratulations (and deepest condelences), you're a leader.
 

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The expert in battle seeks his victory from strategic advantage and does not demand it from his men.
Sun Tzu.
What I deem to be a good leader, is a leader who does not seek to lead, or to triumph a cause, but when he does what he deems to be necessary for the preservation of his freedom as an unimportant individual in his environment he does the greatest job at what he sets to do. A leader doesn't seek to subjugate others and make them serve his goals, he leads others to follow an idea, and bring their own causes in its defense. To generate the idea that motivates and mobilizes is the only true task of a leader.
 

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@Loyalgirl, I do not comprehend for what reason you've decided to make the INTJ board your personal blogging space, but as has been pointed out before: your threads never have anything to do with us, nor do they invite feedback, nor do they invite conversation. It's as if you decide once or twice a month to hop on a soap box and preach at us. There are more fitting places for this sort of thing, the one that first enter's the mind is the dedicated blogging feature of PerC. It's just starting to get silly. You show up, make a thread, then leave, and that's been the pattern for a good while now and that's not what a forum is fundamentally designed for. The whole thing is just one really long statement, maybe a malformed essay? There's no question, no place for discussion, no inquiry, no nothing, there's a massive wall of text but a void with regards to interactivity or purpose. The INTJ board has enough clutter as is.

Audience is always a factor when writing.
 
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What I deem to be a good leader, is a leader who does not seek to lead, or to triumph a cause, but when he does what he deems to be necessary for the preservation of his freedom as an unimportant individual in his environment he does the greatest job at what he sets to do. A leader doesn't seek to subjugate others and make them serve his goals, he leads others to follow an idea, and bring their own causes in its defense. To generate the idea that motivates and mobilizes is the only true task of a leader.
I agree. In my view, great leaders have become leaders out of circumstance as opposed to actually wanting to lead. They want to achieve something with such dedication that others automatically feel (out of their own accord) that they want to follow suit and help out as much as they can.
 

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@Loyalgirl, I do not comprehend for what reason you've decided to make the INTJ board your personal blogging space, but as has been pointed out before: your threads never have anything to do with us, nor do they invite feedback, nor do they invite conversation. It's as if you decide once or twice a month to hop on a soap box and preach at us. There are more fitting places for this sort of thing, the one that first enter's the mind is the dedicated blogging feature of PerC. It's just starting to get silly. You show up, make a thread, then leave, and that's been the pattern for a good while now and that's not what a forum is fundamentally designed for. The whole thing is just one really long statement, maybe a malformed essay? There's no question, no place for discussion, no inquiry, no nothing, there's a massive wall of text but a void with regards to interactivity or purpose. The INTJ board has enough clutter as is.

Audience is always a factor when writing.
I debated back and forth where to post it and didn't realize ppl actually read those blog things. Still skeptical tbh.
 
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