I’ve studied leadership my entire life. As a little kid, I read biographies voraciously. Later I studied political leadership and then organizational leadership at the university. I still read everything I can on the subject. (I just wish I exhibited more of what I know!)

I devoted the cover story of the March issue of Automation World to the subject. The research for the article culminated in a couple of themes: having a vision and articulating that vision such that you can get others to align with it.

Along with that foundation, you need some personal characteristics including integrity, ethics, passion and believing in (and caring about) people.

I’m en route to Houston and the ABB Automation and Power World conference. I think Joe Hogan, the CEO, is an example of leadership in the industry. It’ll be interesting to catch up after a year and see where he’s been taking the company.

As we all try to be leaders in our organizations (and I hope you all are), these are good things to integrate into your life. And you may not be CEO, but they are just as applicable within a team, department, plant or division.

Michael Hyatt also writes on leadership at times. I like his blog. It’s a great read. In this post, there is a list of characteristics that I’ve included here to whet your appetite to read the whole blog:

Here are twelve ways to know if you are a leader:

  1. You long to make a difference.
  2. You’re discontent and dissatisfied with the status quo.
  3. You’re not waiting on a bigger staff or more resources to accomplish your vision.
  4. Your dreams are so big they seem impossible.
  5. You acknowledge what is but inevitably ask, “What could be?
  6. You realize that you don’t have to be in charge to have significant influence.
  7. You refuse to blame others for your circumstances and take responsibility for finding solutions.
  8. You foster unity by bringing people together and encouraging dialogue.
  9. You are quick to say, “I messed up. Here’s what I am going to do to fix the problem I created.”
  10. You value relationships more than tasks.
  11. You walk your talk—not perfectly but sincerely and intentionally.
  12. You are a learner. You read, listen to podcasts, attend conferences, and ask other leaders lots of questions.
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