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leadership

Optimism and Attitude Are Inherent to Great Leadership

SWITCHANDSHIFT.COM 3 Hours Ago

by Jeff Ogden

Many, many years ago (in the 1980’s), I worked for Unisys Corporation in Jericho, NY. My district manager was a gentleman by the name of Bob Greifeld. I worked closely with Bob for over four years and he and I became close friends.

Eventually, Bob moved to a company called Automated Security Clearances, which was purchased by Sunguard. One day Bob received a call from a recruiter with a very interesting opportunity. Bob went to his boss at Sunguard and said “I love working for Sunguard, but this is the opportunity of a lifetime.” His boss told him to go for it, and Bob won the job of a lifetime… and he held it.

For the last decade, since May of 2003, Bob has been Chief Executive Officer of NASDAQ/OMX. (Click the link for Bob’s Forbes profile).

The world (and Forbes) consider Bob a great leader, so what can we learn? Having worked closely with this man and knowing him well, I want to share some thoughts.

Great leaders are not necessarily the smartest people in the room, or the best looking, or some other aesthetic quality. Instead, I believe optimism and attitude are the most critical ingredients in what makes a leader great.

Here are the four key characteristics I found in Bob’s leadership style, that I believe are inherent in any great leader:

Optimism

Great leaders have boundless optimism. They infect their team members with optimism too. They have a “never say die” attitude.

Listening Skills

Great leaders are great listeners. Have a concern? The leader wants to hear your concerns. He or she listens intently to those concerns.

Passion

Great leaders have passion. When they believe in something, they go get it. You get the impression that nothing can stop them from what they want to achieve.

Genuine Caring

The best leaders are those who genuinely care for their team members and who always keep what’s best for their team at top of mind.

Great leaders are not necessarily the smartest people in the room, or the best looking, or some other aesthetic quality. Instead, I believe optimism and attitude are the most critical ingredients in what makes a leader great.

It seems clear that the very best leaders are those who offer optimism and a good personal attitude. They clearly exhibit Optimism, Listening skills, Passion and Genuine caring. If any employee approaches them with a concern, they listen intently. They genuinely care. You never hear a disparaging word or negative comment from a good leader – their optimism is boundless

Those are the characteristics of Bob Griefeld, my long-time manager and CEO of NASDAQ/OMX.

What other characteristics do you think make a great leader? Let’s discuss below, in the Comments.

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