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12 Most Kickass “K” Knacks of Great Leaders

12 Most Kickass “K” Knacks of Great Leaders

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” ~ Jim Rohn

Thanks for sticking with me through this 12 Most ABCs of Leadership series. The J’s and K’s presented challenges, so I know the Q’s, X’s and Z’s are going to be daunting! You can catch up by reading 12 Most Jack-Be-Nimble Characteristics of Great Leaders.

Let’s get started on discovering some kickass “K” knacks of great leaders, shall we?

1. Kaleidoscopic

Remember being captivated as a child when looking through a kaleidoscope? The colors would flow, and then they would settle into beautiful organization. Great leaders are kaleidoscopic with their capability to go with the flow and find order amongst chaos.

2. Keen

“Keen” means both to be shrewd and to be enthusiastic. Great leaders are shrewd when negotiating terms on a major deal, acquiring key human and productivity resources, and crafting brand perception. They also enthusiastically support the teams they assemble.

3. Kempt

We usually hear the antonym of this attribute: unkempt. Great leaders are neat when it comes to both personal appearance and company affairs. They understand the importance of that first impression to clients, consumers, investors or even job candidates they are interviewing to assume key roles within the organization.

4. Key

Great leaders are key to their organizations’ successes. Pablo Picasso said “Action is the foundational key to all success.” Demonstrate active leadership, and you will be key to your team’s success.

5. Kickass

If you want to balance between “why am I here watching this goofy movie” with a few good chuckles, you should check out Kickass. Now, imagine if this little girl grew up to be your team leader! No wincing and no whining…

6. Killer

In my 12 Most Jack-Be-Nimble Characteristics of Great Leaders post, I talked about “jugular hunting.” Now I mention “Killer,” and some of you probably want to recommend a good therapist for me! My goal is to find leaders with killer instincts. They balance objectivity while under duress with a burning passion to succeed. They are willing to make the tough, and sometimes unpopular, decisions. Their self-confidence also permits them to admit and learn from their mistakes.

7. Kind

You are probably starting to look up that therapist’s phone number now. I obviously have a split personality to be looking for a Killer… who is kind?!? I am looking for that leader who is capable of being a honey badger to all outside antagonists while setting an example of disciplined kindness with the internal team.

8. Kindred

Here is a poetry snippet courtesy of Thomas Carew: “Good to the poor, to kindred dear, / To servants kind, to friendship clear, / To nothing but herself severe.” Leaders inspire a kindred spirit with their teammates as they cultivate the belief in their mutual success.

9. Kinetic

I tend to be a “little” high energy when speaking or coaching. I once told a martial arts student that I could teach him how to open that door… and I could do it with “bouncing off the walls excitement” about the possibilities this new skill would bring. Energy is contagious — choose to make it a constructive, kinetic energy that charges the team with potential before launching it into action.

10. Knifelike

Hmm, this guy is talking about jugular-hunting, killers — remember when he made that Dexter reference — we should remove all sharp objects from his house. I am perfectly sane, people! I simply place high value on aggressive, relentless leadership. And just like you prune a tree to keep it healthy, or cut out cancerous tissue to save a body, great leaders sometimes have to remove dead wood or cancerous personalities to maintain a vibrant organization.

11. Knightly

A popularized quote is “chivalry is dead.” Great leaders do not subscribe to this popular opinion! There is still room in this world for courtesy and honor. Great leaders open doors, so that others may pass first. They treat the new intern with the same respect as other members in the C-level suite. Ralph Waldo Emerson nailed it when he said, “Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.”

12. Knowledgeable

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” Knowledgeable leaders apply their education, and their life and career experiences, so they are key to their teams’ successes.

Do not let these 12 “Leader Killer” attributes derail your own leadership: Kafkaesque (menacingly complex), kaput, kayoed (knocked out), kickable, killable, kinky, kitschy (vulgar or pretentious), kleptomaniacal, klutzy, kooky, knackered, and knavish.

Be a Knight — not a Knave! And let us know your favorite “K” attributes of Kickass Leaders.

Republished with permission, courtesy of 12 MostPhoto Credit: Letter K by Leo Reynolds, 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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