IN THIS SUMMARY
Smith offers 20 essential characteristics of a good leader, including such diverse elements as trust, technical competence, and humor. The majority of these characteristics fall into one of two traits: openness and humility (trust, ego-subordination, and open-mindedness), and dignity and force (vision, competence, stamina, and decisiveness). Leadership is setting yourself apart and at the same time remaining open. The transition process is particularly important for someone who takes over a large or complex organization. New leaders should ask themselves certain questions: What is the organization's mission? How can I communicate with the organization? Who reports to me, and who is my boss? How is the organization doing? Does the organization have any skeletons in its closet? In addition, new leaders should ask the old leaders for an evaluation of the organization's strengths and weaknesses. After the new leader has been in charge for a few months, he or she should state the organization's goals and priorities and the points that the leader wants to emphasize. Smith offers a few parting thoughts in conclusion: Leadership is not synonymous with authority. Leadership should be shared. Leaders must be generalists who do their own thinking. Leaders must reward average workers who do above average work, and they must deal with those workers who are not pulling their own share of the workload.