Reading for leading #9: 4 traits that team members rate

4 traits that team members rate

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

Does your team trust you to envision the road ahead with honesty and inspiration?

For over three decades, Kouzes and Pozner and have surveyed  and discovered what team members expect of their leaders. They’ve consistently found that the the same four traits receive more than 60% of the votes.

What employees seek in a leader that they would be willing to follow is that they are:

Honest – People want to follow others that they trust – for over 80% of people asked, this was their top requirement of a leader. Similar words that come up in this section are integrity and authenticity. Honesty matters not just so that you trust that what you’re being asked to do will have a positive outcome, but because it is tied to values and ethics. If you follow someone that you later discover to have been dishonest, you may feel that your own reputation has been damaged too.

Competent – Team members want to believe that their leader has a good history of getting things done and the skills and knowledge to know how to continue that in the future. That’s not the same as expecting the leader to know everything – it’s about trusting the leader’s experience and decision-making.

Inspiring – Leaders who are energetic and positive tend to motivate their team members to work towards the shared vision of the group.

Forward-looking – Conveying a sense of direction and plans for the future are important to team members when they look to a leader. This trait becomes more important the higher up an organisation a leader is.


How do you think you’d fare if your team rated you on the 4 traits?

Source of inspiration: “The leadership challenge” – James Kouzes and Barry Pozner

3 thoughts on “Reading for leading #9: 4 traits that team members rate

  1. Pingback: Reading for Leading #22: Which of the 6 leadership styles do you use? – Social in silico

  2. Pingback: 6 months of Reading for Leading! Top posts so far… – Social in silico

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