5 Traits for Potential Leaders
Table diving and dancing is at the end of this email.
How often have you seen someone with great skills be promoted to a leadership position, only to see him become a harried, crazed person making outrageous decisions that demoralize the team? It happens, but it doesn't have to happen to your team, when you understand how to spot people with the potential to become leaders, people who will help achieve the vision you're working toward.

I'm always looking for ways to help you maximize on any leadership position you fill in life.  The challenge is that there isn't much said that hasn't been said or I haven't read before. My challenge is to deliver the message to you in a way that it will stick... this time.

You're not just leading because you want to be the boss or have a nice title and the corner office; you're leading because you want to create a legacy.
If you do nothing else with this email~ humor me by skimming the bullet points below and forward it to someone that needs it now. 

There is no success without a successor. 

Finding leaders isn't about finding those with the loudest or even the most reasonable voice, or even finding the one with the most impressive skills.

Here are five traits of potential leaders that make them easy to spot:
They like people.
  • This is non-negotiable for leaders. Those who are following want to be around and be a part of things led by someone who likes them and is helping them succeed. People don't want to be around someone who is clearly impatient with them and considers them a nuisance. In other words, they won't follow someone who doesn't like them. 
2. They are possibility thinkers.
  • Challenges don't stymie them. Potential leaders aren't Pollyannas; they are willing to admit that problems exist. But even if solutions aren't readily apparent, they can find the workarounds that help the team move forward toward the goals. 

3. They communicate.
  • Leaders must have a desire to interact with others. Excellent communication skills can be learned, but leaders innately want to express vision, goals and tasks to others. Those whose go-to coping method is to silo themselves away from the community are not yet suited for leadership. 

4. They are willing to learn.
  • Leaders are usually finding ways to learn and grow, and they are motivated to share that information. There will always come a point in a leader's life where the vision they are pursuing requires them to learn and become more: a better communicator, a dynamic re-director or a stronger motivator. 
5. They can catch a vision.
  • Leaders may not come with their own vision at first, but they can be inspired to catch an existing vision. Their determination to be possibility thinkers and willingness to learn will aid them in learning from a mentor how to create their own visions.
While some people have a natural bent toward being a leader, good leadership skills can be learned by people who have these five traits. You'll grow as a leader as you identify these people and help them develop into all that they can be. I've discovered that one of the most satisfying parts of my life, both professionally and personally, has this process of finding and growing successors.

You can dive under the table or dance on top of it!

I get that what I do in my personal life may not be of interest to you. Then again if we were to connect at a meeting or cocktail party this is the stuff we'd really be talking about . It's a way for me to stay personally connected. However, I totally get it when you have other things to do. Keep smiling and thanks for letting me share the 5 traits of leadership above. ~ Jake

You can dive under the table or dance on top of it... 

My flirting days are mostly a thing of the past and still I usually get whatever I want, especially when dining out. That includes the best table, exquisite food and often a lively conversation with the chef or owner. So why is it that my daughter Hayden is ready to dive under the table at any moment?

I'll tell you why... I chat honestly and make friends with our server.  This compels Hayden to roll her eyes and eventually dive under the table. However, I've noticed that when Peter does this she thinks he's charming while I'm... embarrassing. My son Will is not mortified or under the table with his sister. 

Take last week...  We went to a restaurant that was $$$$ on Yelp. 

IF you don't already do this and intend on staying longer than an hour, tell the maitre d' you're planning on making a night of it. He will seat you with a seasoned server that is not counting the minutes before clocking out. He'll also put the server at ease for a slower pace.

When our server, Amy, saddled up to our table I physically and verbally expressed my enthusiasm for a killer night.  Moving forward Peter is just as involved in the course of events as I am.

Having read the menu my mouth was watering, as was everyone else's. We wanted to try everything but that would come with a hefty bill at the end of the evening. Sooooo...

We let her know that we want to be foodies and in a big way our dream is to have a bite of each item on the menu. Both of us are quite animated most of the time. This causes Hayden to sink in her chair. 

We struck up a fun conversation with Amy and eventually asked if she was stuck choosing only one appetizer how would she ever do it? Yes, I was sure to mention how envious I was that she worked there because she could ~taste~ them all. As the conversation progressed Hayden started checking for gum under the table. 

Will saw Amy enjoying herself and having fun with the crazy foodie wannabes. He did a little of his own flirting and told her we were up for trying anything. My two favorite boys leaned in and gave her honest-to-goodness toothy smiles. 

Back to the question of which ONE out of ALL would she choose if that's all she could taste, her answer was... "ALL."  She grinned (really she did), asked for our drink order and then left the table. Will never took his eyes off of her as she walked directly to the kitchen without taking a food order. He is a hungry growing boy.
She came back with small versions of most of the appetizers. E ach amounted to about three bites. Most likely just three because Hayden was un der the table when she took a headcount. More importantly... the apps were beautiful and delectable. 

We applauded her. 

The rest of the evening we got to know Amy, learned more about the restaurant, and where to buy these peppers that were super yummy. We met another server that was full of good wine suggestions. The night was full of surprises. Little bits of this and that, amazing complete entrees and the chef personally brought out the desert. Metaphorically speaking we were ALL dancing on the table. 

See you soon! 

Until next time...

Take care, take action and be relentless.

Jake Tuschinski
+1 610-357-1740 PST

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