The Five Pre-Requisites of Leadership

Today I see many people in leadership positions who frankly should not have been placed there. One reason this occurs is that business owners and managers tend to think just because someone is a great worker or producer that they would make a good leader. But leaders need to possess skills that are quite specialized.

Dr. Pierce Howard, my guest on yesterday’s show talked with me about the five pre-requisites of a leader and you can learn more about it by listening to the show at: 

We can remember these leadership skills by remembering the acronym, NEOAC. 

N – Need to respond to stress effectively.It is important that leaders possess more than the technical skills required to manage. They must be able to operate effectively under stressful situations. This means under circumstances where time is short to complete a project or achieve a goal, resources are slim and the hours are long.  Leaders must be able to encourage others and maintain their composure when things go wrong as they surely will. In fact the best leaders become more and more calm as the situation grows more difficult. This attitude is replicated by the entire group when a leader consistently demonstrates this attribute.

E- Extroversion
Dr. Howard calls this “management by wandering around.” No one wants to work for someone that shuts themselves away in their office. Getting things done requires rallying people together around a common goal. This can only be accomplished by “connecting” with others on the team. The best leaders find ways to sincerely connect a deep level.

O – Originality
The most effective leaders are strategy oriented as well as oriented towards tactics. Strategists look at the big picture and find creative ways to accomplish the goals that many others would not think of. They steer the ship so that it is in the best position to reach the intended goal. At times this may require unorthodox decisions but good leaders have the courage to make these decisions quickly and effectively. They use their creativity to make sure their destination is reached.

A- Agreeableness
Leaders that are more agreeable tend to get others to do more. Now I’m not saying that leaders should agree with everything that team members suggest but they tend to entertain most ideas rather than question the merits of anything new. The best leaders are not change adverse but rather seek-out change. It is important to note however that good leaders can also question even the best idea or raise conflict if they think it will challenge the team to perform at a higher level.

C- Consolidation
Leaders must remain focused on the vision and mission at hand. In addition they must encourage others to remain focused. It is easy to get off track and find ourselves expending time and effort on activities that are not focused on the primary goal. Leaders must have the ability to get everyone moving in the same direction and working in harmony.

If you need to make a decision to place someone in a leadership role I hope NEOAC helps you to recognize the best choice for the job. Again leaders need to possess more than just technical skills, experience in a specific industry and be “good with people.” They must have the skills necessary for others to follow them. 

So listen to my interview with Dr. Pierce Howard at: 

Dr Howard was fresh off Oprah Winfrey and his ideas have recently been published in Playboy magazine. He is the author for the “Owner’s Manual for the Brain.” You can check that out at

Posted in Management Development, Uncategorized.

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