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The ONE Quality A True Leader Needs To Possess

Posted by | July 1, 2015 | Leadership, Workplace

Via LinkedIn : To become and to remain a (successful) leader you need to be able doing one single thing very, very well:

To Lead!

It´s obvious and logical… really?

How many so-called “leaders“ do you know who have no clue about how to lead properly?

So, it isn´t so simple, is it?


According to Oxford dictionaries a leader is “The person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.“ To lead meaning “to show (someone or something) the way to a destination by going in front of or beside them.“

Well, that´s the theory. What about the reality?

First, forget about a definition telling you that leading equals commanding. Instead it should say “Leading is influencing in a sustainable and cooperative manner,“ i.e. collaborating with people without manipulation.

Second, Leading needs to go hand in hand with Executing.


At the end, a successful leader needs to be able to realize growth by delivering results. In a three-dimensional manner: For the benefit of her organization, for her professional development, and – most importantly – for her personal evolution.


Outstanding leaders are both effective and efficient by aiming at doing the right things in the right way. They are not driven by short-term results. Instead they are completely customer-centric by following a long-term perspective. Above all, they are VUCA leaders and they live the concept of DyBoPe leadership.

The VUCA Leader

VUCA is a term, or more precisely, an acronym which was coined by the military and describes volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. VUCA leaders are trained to anticipate future issues, are aware of consequences of possible actions, understand how multiple variables interact, develop alternative plans, are well prepared for crisis management, and are clear about how to detect and quickly seize new opportunities.

DyBoPe Leadership

VUCA with its more practical code for awareness and readiness assists leaders in spotting the coming wave and helps bypassing or avoiding it. To ride the wave, however, i.e. to be disruptive, to be innovative, and to actively define the rules of the game it takes leaders who are extremely agile, courageous, and who love building top performing teams.

Dynamic (Dy), Bold (Bo), and People-focused (Pe) leaders possess the following distinct characteristics: They try to learn by doing and by experimentation, they use flexible decision making models (e.g. algorithm-based probabilistic modeling), they cultivate just-in-time decision making, they pursue not more than 3 major initiatives and projects at the same time, they enjoy supporting and coaching others, and they love building long-term relationships.


Top leaders strongly believe in the art of execution. At the same time they know how hard and painful it can be until having things seamlessly implemented.

Many so-called leaders are NOT capable of and willing to focus with firmness and passion on Executing in Excellence. Unfortunately they do not possess the seven essential behaviors which characterize a true leader of execution:

Know your people and your business, insist on realism, set clear goals and priorities, follow through, reward the doers, expand people’s capabilities through coaching, know yourself and be open.


Exceptional leaders master one of the ultimate balancing acts of superior leadership – they know how to lead with head and heart. Meaning they are respected for having both a strong results focus and social skills.

Or, as Eleanor Roosevelt stated: “To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart.”

Leadership has nothing to do with seniority, title, age, or charisma. It´s also different to management which is about organizing, coordinating, planning, and monitoring.

Leadership is about positively influencing people to achieve the best possible common target.

What do you think? Please join the conversation by leaving a comment below.

Best regards,

Andreas von der Heydt

Andreas von der Heydt is the Head and Director of Kindle Content at Amazon in Germany. Before that he held various senior management positions at Amazon and L’Oréal. He’s a leadership expert and management coach. He also founded Consumer Goods Club. Andreas worked and lived in Europe, Australia, the U.S. and Asia. Andreas enjoys blogging as a private person here on LinkedIn about various exciting topics. His latest book is about what makes a future leader. All statements made, opinions expressed, etc. in his articles only reflect his personal opinion.

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