Leaders must be radical. That means that they are counted on to take extremes to change from the accepted or traditional. As a leader, I have the responsibility to see a problem that needs to be fixed or a goal that needs to be achieved. It may be something that no one else sees or simply something that no one else wants to tackle. Whatever it is, as a leader, my focus is to give it some attention and to attack it with a single-minded determination.

As a leader I must demonstrate a passion for an idea, have an inner sense of drive and commitment. I must have the inner strength to move my vision forward despite all the obstacles, despite all the people saying it can’t be done, it’s too costly, we tried that before, or a dozen other excuses. A true leader perseveres and moves forward. Leaders must have the following characteristics to be successful in the long term:

Integrity. People have to believe that I am pursuing a dream because it’s the right thing to do, not just because I am ego driven.

Be a people person. It is important to me to embrace differences, to seek to understand what makes others unique and I need to be able to use the individual skills of the collective to achieve the goal.

Positive Encourager. I am a leader who is great at encouraging others to overcome those things that hold them back. That is my responsibility. I need to be about encouraging, enabling, empowering and energizing others. That can not be done without an enthusiastic and positive person at the helm.

Authentic and Transparent. I embrace Authentic Leadership Institute’s Bill George and Nick Craig’s philosophy of being a leader that is true to oneself. A leader that is not authentic cannot motivate people toward a common goal.

Effective Communication. A leader’s communication must move people to work toward the goal the leader has chosen.

Motivation. A leader has to be able to motivate everyone to contribute. As a leader, I have to think big, dream big dreams and motivate others to action. I refuse to let anyone or anything get in the way of achieving my dreams. I am realistic, but I am unrelenting. I am polite, but insistent. I persevere while constantly and consistently driving forward toward the goal.