I was fortunate enough to attend an event recently in which Pat Williams, Senior Vice President of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, keynoted. I’ve listened to a lot of speakers in my career, and I was impressed with Pat. He has researched key leaders through history: Jesus to Mother Theresa to Winston Churchill to George Washington and so forth. He managed to distill seven common traits of these truly transformative leaders for the audience.

Pat says to be a truly effective leader, you need to have these seven traits. Even if one trait is missing, you have a gaping hole in your ability to lead.

  1. Vision
  2. Communication
  3. People Skills
  4. Character
  5. Competence
  6. Boldness
  7. A Serving Heart

As he talked about each of these traits and told stories, it made me start thinking about the people in my life that I know to be good leaders. And I could see these traits in them. So, what do they each mean?


Want to read more about each of these traits, check out his book Leadership Excellence – the Seven Sides of Leadership for the 21st Century. Feel free to stop by our office and ask to borrow my copy.