LinkedIn's CEO, Jeff Weiner, wrote about three qualities of effective leaders in a recent post on the professional networking platform. It quickly went semi-viral, garnering 16,000 likes and 500 comments in one day. Here's the breakdown of what he said, along with a little analysis, who's been no stranger to underdeveloped leaders over the years. 

According to the LinkedIn CEO, all effective leaders possess these three qualities.

1. Awareness

The first quality Weiner lists is arguably the most obvious. A successful leader needs to be aware of so much, and it goes much further than knowing what's happening in the world, an industry, or even a particular organization. It also means knowing what's happening within yourself. 

Self-awareness is as crucial as any other kind. It's the tool belt from which hangs humility, compassion, and a dozen other essentials.

No true leader leaves home without strapping it on. 

2. Synthesis

Beneath the jumble of buzz-words and jargon that he associates with this quality (separating signal from noise, connecting dots, generating insights), what does Weiner actually mean by synthesis?

In simple terms, the ability to put things together.

Legendary thinker Alan Watts once said, "A holy person is a person who is whole." That also happens to be what's required of a leader--the power of reconciliation; the capability to create something whole out of parts; the skill to integrate systems. 

Every lock has a key. A great leader is someone who can find both and bring them together. 

3. Inspiration 

In his post, Weiner associates inspiration with three things: clarity of vision, the courage of conviction, and the ability to communicate both. How do you know if you have those? 

We're all inspired to one degree or another. We all have visions, goals, and aspirations. For many of us, though, they tend to be fleeting. In order to lead, you need something solid--something clear--that gets you out of bed every day with a certain single-mindedness. 

You also need the diligence to make that vision your full-time focus. As far as your ability to communicate, it should become self-evident in the process of acting on inspiration. 

Find and harness your inspiration. 

Simple ideas, maybe, but not undemanding ones. 

It's easy to call yourself a leader--and hard to actually be one. On the other hand, that makes it pretty easy to tell when you're actually dealing with true leadership, as opposed to just the appearance of it.

It's up to you to decide. 

Published on: Nov 19, 2018