The public speaking homework I had assigned my leadership students ended up being more difficult than it sounded.
From a list of sixty characteristics of an effective leader, each student was to choose just three and in a class presentation, convince the rest of us why their three chosen attributes were the most vital ones. They could also add their own choices to the list.
Here are just a few of the attributes from the list in alphabetical order:
Approachable / Effective communicator / Empowering / Exceptional decision maker / Forward thinker / Good listener / High integrity / Honest / Open to new ideas / Positive attitude / Resourceful / Sees problems and takes action / Sound character / Visionary
From this small sample, you can understand why it might be hard to choose just three from the full list of sixty.
The best presentations were from the students who considered a REAL past or present boss who was an amazing leader instead of just choosing from the list of words. In an interesting twist, one student used a bad boss as his example and demonstrated how a good boss would have done things differently. You see, that particular bad boss hogged the credit when a group effort went well and blamed the team when the boss’s own idea produced a massive failure.
Anyhow, that homework assignment prodded my brain to consider my last post about wanting to be someone else when I was twelve. I came up with the question, “What attributes do I see today in other people that I’d like to incorporate into my own being to make me the best person I can be?”
I started by jotting down the names of people I admire and an attribute for each one. But because many of the people have multiple graces, I ended up with a jumbled page that resembled a Sheldon Cooper mathematical model and abstraction. I felt overwhelmed with how to parcel out the credit.
But then I figured, “Why identify the people by name?” Part of what makes good folks admirable is that they’re not looking for recognition or a pat on the back. And because a blogger tends to attract a certain readership base, my guess is that EVERYONE reading this post (and the friends to whom you forward it) are yourselves good people with the same high qualities.
So here is my baker’s dozen list of admirable attributes that YOU collectively possess that I strive to emulate:
Out-of-this-world kindness / Extreme generosity / Unending patience / Forgiveness in full, no strings attached / Everyday thoughtfulness / Willingness to make time for someone who needs you / Laughs easily and often but never at another’s expense / Remembers what is important to others / Quietly respectful / Works tirelessly for something you believe in / Encourages others in big issues and small ones / Influences others to be the best they can be / loves all of God’s creatures, regardless of how different or seemingly unlovable they may appear
I believe that others DO rub off on us and that, in addition to our own natures, we end up an abstract kaleidoscope of their goodness.