nav-left cat-right

A Leader Is..

As this election winds down voters should be asking what makes a good leader? What are the attributes typical of most leaders, high or low? Below are a dozen traits we might consider. There’s probably dozens more, but we need to start somewhere. Maybe the ones offered here will help us make the right choice come November.

Margaret Thatcher

Focus is doing what’s necessary, even if it’s unpopular. Don’t dwell on trivia and don’t micromanage at the expense of higher priorities. Keep your eye on the prize. Confidence is projecting strength and determination to the job at hand. Imparting those qualities to others on the team. Leaders exude confidence when they’re assertive, energetic and self-assured about finishing a job or beating a deadline.



Bill Clinton

Transparency is authenticity, being who you really are. No disguise or artifice between you and reality, whatever that might be. Admitting to doubt or momentary uncertainty with a dogged resolve to figure it out. Integrity is doing what’s right when nobody’s looking. It’s not about appearances so much as perceptions. A leader strives to be perceived  as doing the right thing and not just going through the motions.




Inspiration is demonstrating with ambition and drive how ideas and thoughts get actualized into actions and results. It’s taking a dream to reality, seizing a moment’s potential and making it the force behind a creative process. Innovation is utilizing the apparent and non-apparent; the ability to make something from nothing, a willingness to think outside the box, facilitating from start to finish the project at hand.




Passion is the quest for excellence, a never-ending process by which quality, quantity and efficiency are monitored and analyzed in the hope of optimizing their impact. It’s pride of achievement awaiting more achievement. Patience is knowing things are being controlled at any given moment, knowing the timetable to accomplishment is what it is, despite best efforts. It’s the courage of one’s convictions, the guts to tough it out no matter what.


Barack Obama

Stoicism is staying in control in the face of adversity. Rolling with the punches. Expecting there to be hurdles and impediments. Dealing with these unemotionally with an air of professionalism. A leader expects the unexpected, anticipates worst case scenarios and factors them in. Accountability means accepting responsibility for decisions that were made. No assigning blame elsewhere. No shirking or redirection. Harry Truman said the buck stops here. A leader admits an error, explains it as best they can, takes positive steps to compensate for damage done.


Approachability is being open and accessible to key aides and advisors as well as the broader customer, client or constituent base. A leader is involved and engaged with tasks and problems and never aloof. They face whatever it is square on and deal with it. They promote dialogueor  and debate which lead to solution. Honesty is never being deceitful or two-faced with subordinates. Never dissembling or equivocating about a problem or issue. Never procrastinating or delaying simply because an immediate answer or solution doesn’t present itself. Honesty bringsvtrust, which is an essential element of leadership.

A worthwhile exercise might be to place these qualities by a picture of each candidate, based on what we know or think we know. How many stick? How many are ridiculous, given the facts? Does the final tally jive with our favorite, validating our choice, or does it prove otherwise?

images1 hillary_clinton_official_secretary_of_state_portrait_crop







You’ve Been Reading Shaneview

I’m Al Shane

Alvan I. Shane Author, The Day Liberty Wept 2270 N Euclid Ave Frequent Op-Ed Contributor Upland, Calif 91784 Political Donor to Cons Grps / Causes (909) 946-5104 Ex-Marine / California native Tax Accountant / Mar 43yrs / 1 son
Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.