They provide the essence and fundamentals of leadership and are therefore timeless.
The acronym that you can use to remember these traits is JJ DID TIE BUCKLE.
Justice: Be a square shooter. Don’t play favorites. Keep anger and emotion out of your decisions. Be objective. Give every one of your people the opportunity to prove themselves.
Judgement: This comes with time and experience. Simply weigh the facts in a given situation to make a considered decision or sensible conclusion.
Decisiveness: Be able to make tough decisions quickly and accurately. This is especially important under stressful conditions. “Better to do something imperfectly than do nothing flawlessly.”- Robert H. Schuller
Integrity: Being honest with yourself and your people. Have and exhibit strong unwavering principles. This instills trust and confidence. People can accept mistakes but they will never forgive lying, cheating, or stealing. Without trust what else is there?
Dependability: Be unfailing in your reliability. Your people are counting on you to be there for them EVERY time. You can share responsibility but never accountability. After all, you are responsible for all your people do or fail to do.
Tact: The ability to use the appropriate force necessary to handle a situation. It is just as important to exercise tact with your subordinates as it is with your peers, leaders, or customers.
Initiative: If something needs to be done don’t wait to be told. Act. Take charge. You know what your mission is. Make an executive decision and drive on.
Enthusiasm: It’s absolutely contagious. Enthusiasm in everything you do. People naturally are attracted to and want to follow leaders with a positive mental attitude. Remember, this must be genuine. It can’t be faked. Your people will see through it and begin to doubt your sincerity or worse, your integrity.
Bearing: Encompasses the way you move, stand, behave, and comport yourself. Bearing is key to the establishment of your legitimacy as a leader. Equanimity. The ability to maintain a calm demeanor especially under stressful conditions. Exhibiting composure and evenness of temper you earn your people’s trust and confidence.
Unselfishness: Share your people’s hardships. Get the best equipment, tools, and training you can for them, all the time. Even if you, personally, have to do without the latest and greatest gadgets. You’re there to support them. By making their jobs and lives easier you’re enabling them perform more efficiently and effectively. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel said, “The best form of welfare for the troops is first-class training, for this saves unnecessary casualties.“ Take care of your people and they will take care of you.
Courage: Demonstrate courage by gaining control of your fears and insecurities. Harness them to stimulate you to action. Courage builds with action. Stand up for what’s right regardless of the risk to you. Do the right thing even though it may not popular. With the benefit of title and position comes great responsibility.
Knowledge: Know your profession. Set the example by technically and tactically proficient. As the leader you are in the business of knowing. If you don’t know something admit it. NEVER bullshit them! You will instantly lose credibility.
Loyalty: It’s a two way street. It goes all the way up and down the chain of command. As a leader every word, every deed, must reflect loyalty. Back up your people when they’re right. Correct them when they’re wrong. Pass along directives as though they are yours. Relying on the position or title of a superior who told you to do a job is to weaken your own position. NEVER criticize your company, your superiors, or your peers in the presence of your people. Never dress down a subordinate in front of their peers. Pull them aside and address the issue privately.
Endurance: Your people look to you for guidance and to pull them through. Keep yourself physically strong, mentally sharp, and morally fit. Show them strength of character through your ability to take stress and difficulties in stride.