Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Essential Qualities of A Great Leader

LeadersThe holiday formerly known as Washington’s Birthday has morphed into Presidents’ Day, celebrated on the third Monday of February.

And it continues to evolve into a more generic recognition of the role of leadership in government and society.

That’s a good thing. The qualities of leadership are not confined to any individual. Even one named Washington.

Great leaders come in all shapes, sizes, colors and genders. They are never perfect. Sometimes they are far from it, with remarkable strengths alongside glaring weaknesses.

In fact, one characteristic of strong leaders is the ability to acknowledge their shortcomings and work consciously to fill in the gaps.

5 Qualities of Great Presidents

Michael Siegel, author of The President as Leader, says stellar leaders share the following qualities:

  • Vision. They see shining cities where others see only hills. “Ronald Reagan embraced a vision of a smaller, less regulated government with lower taxes and less social welfare spending,” Siegel writes. “As a New Democrat, Bill Clinton was very serious about balancing the federal budget and reaching out to the business community, but at the same time not abandoning the needs of poor people.”
  • Follow-through. They know how to get things done. They stick to their guns. They win friends and influence people.
  • Focus. They are not scattered. They don’t try to do too much at once. They zoom in like a laser beam on a few major goals at a time.
  • Inspiration. They motivate others to join the mission. They bring out the best in their followers. They impart the sense that government service is a noble challenge and a public trust.

N.C. Leadership Academy Class of 2014

Each year, the N.C. Bar Association selects a group of outstanding young lawyers to participate in its Leadership Academy.

Here are the 17 attorneys selected for the Class of 2014:

  • Christopher Anglin, Anglin Law Firm, Raleigh
  • Todd Billmire, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Charlotte
  • Daniel Bowes, N.C. Justice Center & Legal Aid of N.C., Durham
  • Zeke Bridges, Campbell Law School, Raleigh
  • Karen Chapman, Poyner Spruill LLP, Charlotte
  • Mark Cummings, Gray & Johnson LLP, Greensboro
  • Milind Dongre, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Winston-Salem
  • Amber Duncan, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Charlotte
  • Sonny Haynes, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Winston-Salem
  • William Oden, Ward and Smith PA, Wilmington
  • Mital Patel, Triangle Business Law, Raleigh
  • Erin Reis, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Greensboro
  • Deanna Thorne, Pulley Watson King & Lischer, PA, Raleigh
  • Justin Truesdale, Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan, Raleigh
  • Hannah Vaughan, Elon University School of Law, Greensboro
  • Melissa Walker, Lewis & Roberts PLLC, Cary
  • Jon Ward, Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers PLLC, Greensboro

The Leadership Academy was started in 2011 under the direction of then-President Gene Pridgen. Partners include the NCBA’s Young Lawyer Initiatives Task Force and the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro.

Congratulations to the Super 17. With leaders like them in the pipeline, our profession is in good hands.

Jay Reeves a/k/a The Risk Man is an attorney licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. Formerly he was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. Contact, phone 919-619-2441.

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About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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