When I was much younger, I was what you would call an extreme extrovert. Myers Briggs showed my “E” was almost as high as you could go. If I went into a small restaurant, I almost felt uncomfortable unless I introduced myself to everyone else in the room. I wanted to know everyone. All of my energy came from other people—listening to their stories, learning what made them who they were.
I married someone who was the complete opposite. My wife was an introvert. We would go to a social event, and I would come home exhilarated while she would be exhausted. It’s not that she didn’t love people. It was just that she tired out around too many people. She needed alone time. She preferred one-on-one versus huge gatherings.
I’ve heard many successful relationships are built on differing qualities. “Opposites attract” is the old saying. If that’s true, the couples I’ve studied who have been together for many years generally start to inherit qualities from each other.
Michael Hyatt is the Chairman of Thomas Nelson. In addition, he is a New York Times best-selling author, a speaker, and a personal friend of mine. He also runs a hugely popular leadership blog, which consistently is ranked among the top in the world.
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to talk with Michael about what he has learned about leaders from his storied career and his social networking experiences.
5 Characteristics of Authentic Leaders
Michael explained the five characteristics of authentic leaders:
I’m talking, of course, about Senator Bill Bradley. Senator Bradley recently sat down with me to talk about a range of topics from his life growing up, his experiences as a pro basketball player, his life as a Senator, and the current issues facing our country.
Senator Bradley’s latest book is titled We Can All Do Better.
Five words came to mind as I read the book, and we talked about them in the interview:
Citizens. It takes all of us to make a better country. Citizen involvement is what spurred the greatest movements. From abolitionists fighting to end slavery all the way to environmentalists cleaning up our air and water, the greatest changes occur when individuals get involved to make a difference. These societal changes were not driven by the government. They were driven by citizens.
Compromise. Compromise and negotiation is important. Senator Bradley says, “It begins by giving respect to the other side.”
On my desk at home, I have a jar of coins. In it is mostly pennies and nickels. Today as I was throwing some extra change into the jar, I found an old buffalo nickel. I didn’t expect to find it just sitting on top.
And that got me thinking. Inside this jar there are likely other coins more valuable than I think. Inside companies are employees more valuable than the company leaders think. And inside of you is more potential than you could possibly think.