Here are some signs by which top management can predict, with reasonable safety, that a man with a given opportunity will rise to those characteristics which distinguish a good executive:
Sixteen Qualities of Executive Leadership
- Good personality
- Above-par intelligence
- Wide experience
- Good judgement
- Keen mental attitude
- Administrative ability
- Delegating ability
- Teaching ability
- Skillful human relations
- Courage of convictions
- Tenacity and perseverance
- Long-range vision
- Applied psychology
The quality leadership. Men follow leaders not because of any capricious instinct, but rather because they believe in them, have trust and faith in them, and have an inherent desire to follow them. The qualities listed above may certainly be counted on to develop the caliber of executive manpower that signifies the presence of good leadership.
Note these words by Earl D. Babst, Director and former Chairman, The American Sugar Refining Company, New York City.:
A tested approach to assuming executive responsibility in a new or unfamiliar field is first to get its facts. Listen, of course, to the views of directors who have chosen you, but avoid or postpone commitments. Get away from headquarters and visit informally its field of operation. See for yourself what and how its organization performs and the reaction of its customers, trade, and public.
This means visits to all departments of its factories and distribution outlets, including shipping, warehouses, wholesale and retail stores, making all possible visits and contacts. Then you will know your organization and its personnel. Then you are ready to be its executive. Then you are telling and acting. Then the directors will listen.
Men with good executive potential and a well-defined executive personality are hard to find. When found, it often takes years for them to develop and grow into their jobs.