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12 Most In Words To Be in Leadership

12 Most In Words To Be in Leadership

I am an avid reader who loves a good adjective. I especially enjoy applying strong and positive adjectives to strong and positive leaders. Here are 12 of my favorite In Words to be in leadership. I also have a list at the end of the 12 that barely missed the cut. Some of these near misses may show up in your top 12, but I went with a few unconventional ones in my list to drive some interesting discussion!

Time to meet my “in crowd”…

1. Incandescent defines incandescent as intensely bright; brilliant; masterly; extraordinarily lucid. Could you think of better qualities in a strong leader? We can all hope to be brilliant and masterly as we lead our organizations.

2. Indefatigable

In an intensely competitive business landscape, we need to be untiring. As the days get longer, and the stresses mount, a strong leader cannot take the easy way out and yield to fatigue.

3. Inestimable defines inestimable as being of incalculable value; valuable beyond measure; priceless. A strong leader overcomes organizational shortcomings and is truly priceless for a successful team.

4. Inexorable

Inexorable can have a harsh definition that includes unbending; severe, merciless, cruel and pitiless. Those are generally qualities you do NOT want in a leader. However, it makes my list because it also means relentless. The great leaders are the ones who can push through failures in a relentless pursuit for organizational success. I also favor unbending leadership as it relates to upholding an absolute standard of integrity.

5. Instinctive

Wouldn’t it be great if everything went according to plan every time? How about if the numbers always added up to what you needed, or the flowchart and decision matrix accommodated every scenario you would ever encounter? That world doesn’t exist, my friends! The instinctive leaders, who anticipate versus react to circumstances, are in a class by themselves.

6. Infallible

Some may view infallible as “without failures”. I like’s definition of absolutely trustworthy or sure. Failures are sure to come our way. Can we handle failures and controversy and remain trustworthy? We need leaders who can remind us of what it means to honor our trust.

7. Infinite

Man becoming infinite…is an impossibility. However, natural leaders strive to be immeasurably great and boundlessLevel 5 leaders do not seek these goals for personal gain; instead, they view their organizations with the belief that the organizations can achieve boundless success.

8. Indomitable

One of the 5 Tenets of Taekwondo is Indomitable Spirit. It is a willingness to accept and acknowledge failure followed by a stronger desire to get back up and try again. It is accepting defeat without being beaten by it or accepting it as a final outcome. Strong leaders develop both a healthy chip on their shoulders and an attitude that they WILL succeed eventually.

9. Inquisitive

If we stop learning, then we become both complacent and stagnant. Strong leaders cultivate their intellectual curiosity, and they thirst for knowledge and new ideas.

10. Ingenious

An inquisitive nature coupled with a heavy dose of ingenuity drives innovation! Leaders are resourceful and encourage independent thought and inventiveness within their organizations.

11. Inimitable

To be inimitable is to be incapable of being imitated or copied; matchless. Charismatic leaders are often matchless, and they can successfully guide companies to new heights. However, Level 5 leaders achieve the same goals while establishing foundational principles to ensure continued company success after their time in leadership. Work on being matchless in humility and principles and making your organization’s success matchless. A true measure of personal success is if the company can flourish once you are gone.

12. Inspirational

Do you meet success wherever you go? Great! Do you have an indomitable spirit and refuse to accept defeat as the final outcome? Excellent!! Do you inspire others to become more than what they are currently? Do you encourage them to reach higher, achieve more, and take on more autonomy and responsibility? Do you work with them to become part of the “In-crowd”? Be Inspirational, my friends!

Here are some good ones that did not make my top 12: informative, influential, insatiable, involved, and independent

BONUS: Here are some “in-words” to NOT BE in Leadership: inadequate, inactive, inadvertent, inappropriate, inarticulate, inflexible, insolent, and insufferable!

What “in words” would you like someone to use to describe your leadership qualities? Which words do you hope to avoid getting associated with your name?!?

This post was originally published on 12 Most on January 12, 2012.  The original post can be found here…along with a plethora of excellent posts from contributing authors I enjoy reading. Photo Credit: Steve JOBS 1955-2011 by COG LOG LAB., on Flickr

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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and grandsons! My career has blessed me to the point I was able to start a new consultancy in 2018: Analytic Integrity. I look to provide analytic experience, and business integrity, to an Analytics world while helping data-driven organizations mature. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin.

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  1. I am a lover all words, but adjectives have a special place in my heart. So do GREAT Leaders. I am loving the word Incandescent and I think I’ll be using that a lot today.

    • That is awesome, Amy – I thought Incandescent was a nice addition to the list that doesn’t immediately come to mind when describing leaders. Go forth and use well ;)

  2. Brian, aloha. What a great way to start the week. As you know, I love words so this is right up my alley. Don’t know how I missed this on 12Most; it must have been during my away time.

    Absolutely love the word Incandescent; what a terrific way to start the post.

    Here are three more In words for you which are likely in your “near miss” list:

    Intrepid–willing to break new ground–go where no man (or woman) has gone before.
    Insightful–recognizing the true nature of something rather than accepting appearance
    Inquisitive–asking questions to learn more–people, products, predictions

    Though I have others, I am going to leave for others to add to your comment section. Love, love, love this, Brian. Thanks so much. Until next time, aloha. Janet

    • Incandescent was one of my favorites, Janet (and Amy’s too ;)). I agree that Insightful should definitely make the short-list if I hadn’t strayed from the norm with words like Inexorable and Inimitable. I think Intrepid definitely fits that “lesser known word that describes a leader” category.

      I told Robert Caruso I was going for Inimitably Inspirational!

      Thanks for stopping by, Janet.

      • You are, Brian!

        • Excellent, thanks Janet. Getting better w/age…

  3. I gotta come up with a funny 13th “in” word…first thought was Incredible, but that’s sort of lame. How about INsane? Nah, that’s my wife’s nickname for me. Ahhh, I got it! In ‘N’ Out – the best fast food burger joints around!

    • In N Out Burger – classic Sallan response ;) Regarding a Leadership “In Word” does that mean you lead the convoy through the drive-through?

      • @BruceSallan It IS the best fast food in the world…. even though it’s not SO fast.

        • You folks aren’t helping my attempts to cut sugars/sodium and get in better shape. I *love* burgers!! Of course, they do not have In N Out burgers in Denver. But they do have Red Robin, Gunther Toody’s, Ted’s Montana Grill, SmashBurger, LarkBurger, and the list goes on -> and I’ve been to most of them!