Hidden Leader Traits Chapter 2


  1. Demonstrate integrity. Those with integrity have a strong personal definition of right and wrong and always act according to that definition. In addition to applying their ethical code in all situations, hidden leaders understand and take into consideration the impact of their decisions on the group. For example, a hidden leader would give feedback to an employee in a private meeting rather than during a staff meeting–but if the subject of the employee’s performance were to arise at a staff meeting, the hidden leader would find a way to tell the truth without negatively impacting the individual or the group. Hidden leaders have ethical consistency; they always act in the same manner, whether or not they are being observed. Courage is an important quality in hidden leaders; they have the courage to speak up and do the right thing even when it is difficult. They often do so quietly in ways that others can accept.
  2. Lead through relationships: Hidden leaders take an honest interest in others at all levels of an organization. As a result, they develop real relationships that allow them to have a positive influence. Relational leaders use interpersonal skills effectively, are curious, value others, and believe in their own value. They are well liked and their natures inspire others to act. Relational leaders are more effective in that they are able to tap in to talent within an organization because they know who those people are; they influence others to do their best because they believe in them; and they are better able to help employees cope with specific challenges because they know them on an individual level.
  3. Focus on results. Hidden leaders understand how their jobs impact their companies’ value promises. They focus on results rather than processes. Hidden leaders follow procedures, but are willing to do things differently to meet the goal of pleasing customers. They maintain a wide perspective and posses an independent initiative to act. In other words, hidden leaders do not wait for permission; they take action because they feel responsible and accountable for positive outcomes for all stakeholders. When managers clearly outline the goals and visions of their companies, hidden leaders can make decisions that support those visions.
  4. Remain customer purposed: Customer-purposed hidden leaders act according to the goal of benefiting the company and the customer. They focus on ensuring that the entire customer experience delivers on a company’s value promise.

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