Wright Foundation | June 9, 2014

Sharing Our Talents:
The Qualities of a Leader

In our Year of Transformation program this week, our assignment is to share our gifts. That’s left a lot of people scratching their heads. “What do you mean by my gifts?”

Well, we purposely leave it open because we want you to discover. We want you to eventually see yourself as a gift to others so that you can fully be with others. But I’m going to give you a couple of areas to think about your gifts.

For example, let’s talk about leadership. What are the qualities of leadership that you bring to any situation you’re in? The qualities of a leader are their gifts. Good leadership qualities are strong gifts. One primary leadership quality we seek to develop is people skills. But your people skills include your capacity to understand yourself, to understand others, to have them feel understood, and to have high-quality rapport.

Nowadays, we talk about it in terms of social-emotional intelligence a great deal. Social-emotional intelligence means you’re able to recognize what you’re feeling. You’re able to up-regulate (get more excited and more engaged), or you’re able to down-regulate and calm yourself. This is an important leadership quality: the capacity to lead people to become more engaged, more excited, or to calm down when they’re overly excited.

Being truthful and understanding your worth are some qualities of a great leader.


These are qualities of a leader that make a big difference in your effectiveness. They’re not sufficient, however. The skill-set of a leader is much broader than that. There are cognitive skills, your ability to analyze what’s going on. Critical thinking skills to recognize what’s true and what’s not true, to see through illusion and to get to a bottom line with people. So when we talk about your leadership qualities, we’re talking about your people skills, your cognitive skills. We’re talking about your critical thinking skills and your emotional intelligence skills.

The cool thing about leadership is that the more you share your gifts, the more you’ll contribute to others, and the more you’ll learn and grow.

You’ll grow in self-acceptance, and you’ll grow in helping others develop themselves. Leadership qualities such as these are essential to your success in your career and in your personal relationships because the qualities of a leader aren’t just at work; they’re also at home. And people skills, as we can see, are critical to having a nourishing, supportive home, to have great relationships, a great marriage, and great dating if you’re single–just as they are critical to winning the hearts and minds of those that you lead. Winning their minds requires cognitive skills. People won’t trust your mind if you can’t demonstrate critical thinking skills.

So this week, we invite you to share your gifts. To touch and be touched. To engage. To let yourself think out loud with others.

Learn more about Wright Living’s Career & Leadership Coaching in Chicago & Career Coaching Courses in Chicago.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.