I was listening to a webinar this week where Frances Hesselbein was being interviewed about leadership.  She was asked about the qualities that are essential for today’s leadership?

Her comments were:

  • Begin with mission – why do we do what we do?
  • Living values
  • Trust
  • Respect for all people
  • Love
  • Humility
  • Caring
  • Compassion
  • Seeing diversity as an opportunity not a challenge

So what do you think?  What do you believe are essential qualities for today’s leadership?

My thoughts are that many leaders would agree with her comments, but often find it hard to apply those qualities consistently amidst the stresses and pressures of delivering improved levels of performance relentlessly.

Therefore, two words spring to my mind – discpline and consistency.


When I trained every day for athletics, I was often tempted to just do a shorter run,due to time pressures. However, I never did because I knew if I did it once, I would want to do it again, and that is the start of the slippery slope.  Discipline means being willing to keep going and resist other pressures to change your focus.   As a result of all my hard work I represented Scotland in 3000m and cross country athletics events.


Would other people call you consistent?  Do you do what they expect you to do?   Leaders need to be consistent.  That way their followers will they where they stand, they can build up confidence in the leader and feel that they get treated in the same way as their peers.