Whether you're in the military or in a new business, a leader is a leader. Everybody knows that leaders possess particular traits that help them to motivate people, stay on top of their game, remain positive, and become successful. Effective leaders in the military world as well as in the entrepreneurial world, coincidentally, have the exact same characteristics and traits.
Raymond Cattell, a pioneer in the field of personality assessment, developed the Leadership Potential equation in 1954. Based on the study of various US military leaders, this equation helps to decipher the traits in which effective leaders possess. Psychological tests such as Cattell's help to determine whether or not entrepreneurs will become successful business leaders in their particular new business. Cattell attributes the following traits to a successful leader (compiled by the Online Business Women's Center of Dallas, Texas):
Emotional stability. Good leaders must tolerate frustration and stress. Overall, they must be well-adjusted and have the psychological maturity to deal with anything they are required to face.
Dominance. Leaders are often competitive and decisive, and thay usually enjoy overcoming obstacles. Overall, they are assertive in their thinking style and in dealing with others.
Enthusiasm. Leaders are usually seen as active, expressive, and energetic. They are often very optimistic and open to change. Overall, they are generally quick and alert, and they tend to lack inhibitions.
Conscientiousness. Leaders are often dominated by a sense of duty, and they tend to be very exacting in character. They usually have a very high standard of excellence and an inward desire to do their best. They also have a need for order and tend to be very self-disciplined.
Social boldness. Leaders tend to be spontaneous risk-takers. socially aggressive, and generally thick-skinned. Overall, they are responsive to others and tend to be high in emotional stamina.
Tough-mindedness. Good leaders are practical, logical, and to-the-point. They tend to be low in sentimental attachments and comfortable with criticism. They are usually insensitive to hardship and overall very poised.
Self-assurance. Self-confidence and resiliency are common traits among leaders. They tend to be free of guilt and have little or no need for approval. They are generally secure and unaffected by prior mistakes or failures.
Compulsiveness. Leaders generally are controlled and very precise in their social interactions. Overall, they are very protective of their integrity and reputation. Consequently they tend to be socially aware, abundant in foresight, and very careful when making decisions or determining specific actions.
High Energy. Long hours and some travel are usually a prerequisite for leadership positions, especially as an organization grows. Remaining alert and staying focused are two of the greatest obstacles you will have to face as a leader.
Intuitiveness. Rapid changes in the world today combined with information overload result in an inability to "know" everything. In other words, reasoning and logic will not get you through all situations. In fact, more and more leaders are learning to the value of using their intuition and trusting their "gut" when making decisions.
Maturity. To be a good leader, personal power and recognition must be secondary to the development of your employees. In other words, maturity is based on recognizing that more can be accomplished by empowering others than can be by ruling others.
Team Orientation. Business leaders emphasize team work. Instead of promoting an adult/child relationship with their employees, leaders create an adult/adult relationship that fosters team cohesiveness.
Empathy. Ability to "put yourself in the other person's shoes" is a key trait of today's leaders. Empathy builds trust and trust helps elicit the best efforts from your employees.
Charisma. People usually perceive leaders as larger than life. Charisma plays a part in this perception. Charismatic leaders arouse strong emotions in their employees by defining a uniting and captivating vision. Leaders use vision to motivate employees to reach toward a future goal by tying the goal to substantial personal rewards and values.
Positive Work-Life Balance. Entprepreneurs who balance out their work-life balance usually lead happier, fuller lives, not only as business people, but as fathers, mothers, children, spouses, and friends.
The above personality traits help to determine an effective leader. When an entrepreneur possesses the traits listed above, they are more likely to become a successful and effective leader within their new business.