48 RETAILER HALL OF FAME 2019 A GREAT LEADER IS... T here is rarely a consensus on what the most important characteristics of leaders are, and we are far too often presented with exam- ples of “great” leaders, who, upon closer inspection, show themselves to be less than advertised. Nevertheless, I thought it would be fun to compile some of my favorite quotes on the topic as well as to offer my thoughts on the subject: Leaders, in my view, must be insatiable learners. Anything less should be grounds for disqualification. Enjoy. “IT TOOK A FEW YEARS, BUT WE CAME TO REALIZE THAT OUR JOBS WERE TO KEEP PEOPLE ON COURSE WHILE CHEERING THEM ON, WHICH IS WHAT EVERY GOOD LEADER SHOULD DO.” —HERB BRIDGE, “BUILDING BRIDGES” “THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU WOULD RATHER HEAR THE TRUTH AS TO THE WAY THINGS REALLY ARE THAN SOME PLASTIC SLOGANEERING THAT YOU DO TO AVOID CONFRONTING REALITY.” —ROBIN SHARMA, “THE LEADER WHO HAD NO TITLE” “One of the most important ways that people learn what the leader’s true motives are is by what they see him or her do—not just say.” —Andy Milligan and Shaun Smith, “On Purpose” “AMBIGUITY KILLS GREAT IDEAS, AND GREAT LEADERS KILL AMBIGUITY.” —SCOTT BELSKY, “THE MESSY MIDDLE” “Don’t use your company’s age or industry as an excuse for mediocrity. There is no such thing as an average or old-fashioned business, just average or old- fashioned ways to do business.” —William Taylor, “Simply Brilliant” “The paradox of learning how to make better decisions is that it requires developing a comfort with doubt.” —Charles Duhigg, “Smarter Faster Better” closing thoughts One of National Jeweler’s most popular columnists shares his favorite quotes on leadership. BY PETER SMITH “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” —Jim Collins, “Good to Great” “Indecision is born of a lack of purpose: When you know what you truly want, most of your decisions can— and should— be almost automatic.” —Jeff Haden, “The Motivation Myth” “Leaders transform themselves into inspiring storytellers when they muster the courage to share the sometimes-difficult lessons they’ve learned.” —Carmine Gallo, “The Storyteller’s Secret” “When you stand up and tell the truth, and then commit to fixing the problem, it inspires not only likeability, but also loyalty and trust.” —Rohit Bhargave, “Likeonomics” “THEIR TOP TWO PRIORITIES ARE TO SET THE DIRECTION OF THE ORGANIZATION AND THEN TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE ARE REMINDED OF IT ON A REGULAR BASIS.” —PATRICK LENCIONI, "THE ADVANTAGE"