Through more than 40 years of service in the military, in higher education and with nonprofits, I’ve been privileged to work with and learn from superb leaders, from the young instructors who taught me how to fly airplanes for the U.S. Navy to the very smart group of corporate chief executive officers I met during a recent business trip to Asia.
These talented people have differed widely in their personality traits and life stories. Some have been charismatic, some very modest. Some came from poor backgrounds, others grew up amid great wealth. Some of them came by their leadership abilities naturally, and many others worked hard at developing them.
But all of these men and women have shared three critically important skills: They have been driven by an inspiring vision of success. They have excelled at communication. And they have exercised superior judgment.