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Leader Quality: Discrete

toitoise1Research shows there are 11 key Leader Qualities with one having a sub-set of 8 characteristics. Of the 19 Leader Qualities, 7 of them are ‘Trust Factors’. These are listed again below, together with a fuller description for Trust Factor: Discretion.The Trust Factor Leader Qualities are:

  1. Reliable & Consistent
  2. Accepts responsibility
  3. Discrete
  4. Walks the talk
  5. Authentic
  6. Supportive of individuals
  7. Interested in individuals.

Trust Factors are special because any lapse in these Leader Traits may lead to intractable relationship- and performance- issues for the leader, their team and those interacting with them.


Discretion is also a key Trust Factor. People learn, over time, that the confidential information they share is not leaked. This building of trust is easily destroyed. Lapses in discretion can lead to a sudden and widespread loss of trust.

Anneka told her boss Iain that she was pregnant. She did this early-on out of respect for him and from a sense of duty to the small, strategic accounting centre for a large group of companies. Anneka was shocked to discover that this confidential matter had been passed around the business, returning to her own team, and all within 3 days. Her management of her new lack of trust in Iain coloured all her further dealings with him.

We are privy to much confidential information. If we fail to keep it confidential, in any quarter, the results can be so destructive, that the risk is not worth taking. Those who lack discretion are not yet on the first step of leadership. Relationship issues are bound to follow them.

Interesting? Schedule a Conversation with Angus McLeod.

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