If you are interested in leadership, you probably read Adam Bryant's column Corner Office every Sunday in the New York Times. He has just written a book on his more than 200 interviews and in a Wharton interview, he outlines five qualities that stood out in his interviews as making a leader successful: 1. Passion and quality
2. Battle-hardened confidence, the kind that comes from having faced adversity
3. Team smarts (making teams work together)
4. Simplifying mindset (he calls this a simple mindset but that does not explain to me what he really means which is the ability to take the complex and uncertain and distill down to the simplest and easy to understand). He is right about this. I remember a CEO who had 19 message points....it's got to be pared down to 3 things to focus on. The End.
5. Fearlessness, "....a bias toward action--not recklessness-but a willingness to take risks and to see things that need to be turned upside down or inside out to be improved." I may have used the word "courage" but fearlessness is similar.
In the interview, there was a mention of a concept that I really like. One of the CEOs told a story about a woman who used the term "middle brain" to explain the balance that executives need between their two halves of the brain (left and right), the creative and analytical. We can use more middle brain executives for sure.