He also does a lot of research on leadership. Here's a definition of leadership that has stuck with him:
Leaders are "people who leave their footprints in their areas of passion."
In order to lead what Byrnes calls "paradigmatic change," leaders need eight essential characteristics:
- Capacity for passion. First and foremost, you need a burning drive to make things better. Change management is a grueling process, and passion will see you through it.
- Perspective. In order to convert passion into action, you must be able to "step back" and "view" what you're doing even while you're doing it.
- Creativity. Once you have a perspective on your business process, it takes creativity to see fundamentally new and more effective ways to do things.
- Organization skills. You have to translate a broad vision into a very well organized, practical, step-by-step program.
- Teamwork. You have to have the organization's best interests at heart, and really be motivated to make things better for those you seek to lead.
- Persistence. After passion gets you started, persistence is what carries you through
- Open-mindedness. Large-scale change necessarily involves a good measure of learning by doing. A good leader needs a high level of tolerance for ambiguity.
- Integrity. Integrity is more than honesty. It is a matter of being genuine, being motivated by your deeply held values to make your organization and your coworkers better off. This is where the passion, persistence, and teamwork come from.