Monday, 7 May 2012

4 defining traits of great historical leaders

Howard Gardiner, in his superbly researched book Leading Minds - An Anatomy of Leadership, thoroughly analyses the behaviors of a number of great historical leaders including Margaret Mead, Robert Oppenheimer, Alfred P. Sloan, George Marshall, Pope John XXIII, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Margaret Thatcher and Mahatma Gandhi.

Gardiner identifies the following four common defining traits:
  1. They have great understanding of people
  2. They are willing to confront individuals in authority
  3. They have travelled outside their homeland (and less vulnerable to steering off stereotypes)
  4. They have excellent language skills (oral or written)
Ken Thompson (aka The BumbleBee) blogs about bioteams, virtual collaboration and business simulation at