Leadership Between the Lines

The "number 1" most important quality in leadership - Part 2.

A couple of weeks ago I shared a word cloud that represented responses from a group of senior and executive leaders in one of my LinkedIn groups - "The Design & Innovation Leaders Network: A Private Community Building Creative & Authentic Cultures". The actual query was "What do you consider to be the #1 most important quality in leadership?"

I got a nice mix of responses (including "I love this question" and "You can't limit it to just one"). Narrowing it down to just ONE quality is virtually impossible so I did allow for up to 3. The qualities shared were great, diverse, meaningful, touching in many cases. Each one made me think about it in a new way, through a different lens. The original word cloud (with the greatest weighted words) is shown in my previous post on this blog, accessible here as well DILN Leadership Qualities.

I thought this would be it...and then...

top leadership qualities as shared by creative managers, employees & contributors

At the same time, I'd posed the same question to another one of my groups "The Authentic Leadership & Collaboration Network: Unlocking Creativity, Impact, Results & Innovation". This group's membership consists of primarily employees, designers, managers, individual contributors, freelancers, and a few senior leaders and business owners. The responses were in some cases similar, all thought provoking, many heart warming...and in even more cases, the responses were different in the qualities and how they were rated. I thought this was pretty cool, very interesting, and curiosity provoking.

If you look, there's a lot of great information here. For your leadership awareness and "tool kit" these are some of the top qualities in leadership from the perspectives of two different groups.

So...What can you take away from this? Here are a couple of places to look:

  • How might this inform your own leadership awareness and action?
  • Knowing this, how might you inspire better leadership in others?
  • If you were to pick one, yep, just one, of the qualities you see here, and embody it for the next week, what might shift? (Try it. Do it.)
  • Where do you see yourself in these 2 clouds?
  • If you were a cloud, which one would you be?


Have fun exploring these, I'll spend the next few posts unpacking some of what this all means and how you can apply it today to enhance your own leadership, evoke it in others, and increase your leadership range.

Enjoy and lead on... axc