4 Curious Traits of Leaders

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Happy New Year!

Because it’s January, the first month of the calendar year, I’m inspired to write about leaders and more specifically, four curious traits of leaders that may surprise you.

As a wellness coach, healer, and facilitator, I work with Green Leaders as they grow into their potential and I recently wrote a blog post, “25 Signs You’re an Up and Coming Green Leader.” Hopefully, you can relate to many of the 25 signs.

To further inspire you to be the leader you were born to be, here are four more traits to add to the list.

1. Many leaders are born in the month of January.

2. Many leaders are the first born in their sibling birth order.

3. Many leaders are above average in height and/or are considered tall when standing next to others.

4. Many leaders are left-handed.

Olympic Torch 2010.

Let’s talk more about these traits.

1. Many leaders are born in the month of January.

Because of how the school year is set up, kids born in January are often more mature and athletic than their younger classmates. Being the oldest in your class by up to 11 months in your early years can make a big difference in terms of development and can translate into lifelong leadership abilities down the road. One study suggests that even the NHL favours players who are born in the earliest months of the year – most notably, Wayne Gretzky, born on January 26th.

2. Many leaders are the first born in their sibling birth order.

First born children are more likely than their siblings to become leaders because they already have many years’ of practice on their belts. They’re also used to being looked up to by their younger siblings, both literally and figuratively, and they’re the first to go out into the world and report back to the others what they’ve learned. They also tend to be more responsible and protective in nature. They’re also known for being bossy.

3. Many leaders are above average in height and/or are considered tall when standing next to others.

Have you ever noticed that many leaders are quite tall? Being “head and shoulders above the rest” allows visionary leaders to see above the crowds and to focus ahead into the distance. Also, being tall allows the group to see the leader in the crowd from afar, as well.

Oddly, it has been observed that in 67% of ALL U.S. presidential elections, the taller candidate has won the popular vote, even before the days of televised debates.

If you look at evolutionary psychology, this makes sense. We may prefer taller leaders because our ancestors used height as one of the cues of physical formidability and when our ancestors had a big, tall, resourceful, strong, and formidable friend on their team to help them with their survival (like procuring food, shelter, and territory), they had a relative advantage against the elements and a better chance of living another day.

4. Many leaders are left-handed.

Although lefties make up 10% of the world’s population and have been historically shunned, being left-handed can have its advantages. Left-handed people tend to be more “right-brained” and therefore more creative. Growing up left-handed in a world that has been designed for the logical, right-handed among us, can be quite frustrating and challenging – just try using the wrong scissors – but this lefty trait can also make you more likely to think outside-the-box, to see things from a different perspective, to be more intuitive, and become a visionary leader.

What do you think of this list? Which of these traits do you have? As for me, I’m slightly taller than average for women and I’m left-handed.

Olympic Torch 2010.

These four curious traits of leaders come from my own observations and research and aren’t carved in stone. Most likely, you won’t have all four – though that’s possible – and if you do, please tell me, I’d love to meet you and ask if you consider yourself a leader as well.

I’m just offering this list to help you recognize your inherent leadership abilities and to see yourself as a natural-born leader (in case you don’t – yet).

If you by chance don’t have any of these particular leadership traits, don’t worry, leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Good leadership skills can be learned. These four traits just give you a bit of a head start.

Regardless of where you’re starting from now, whether you have zero, one, two, three, or all four of these curious leadership traits, and if you’d like to be a better leader in general, please contact me. I’d love to be your wellness coach and mentor.