The 7 Attributes of True Leadership

By; Fernando Martinez
Candidate for Seattle Port Commissioner Position 4

"Leadership is the ability to motivate and lead individuals, teams, and organizations through discovery, discussion, and actions they would not have arrived upon on their own." - Fernando Martinez

It took a lifetime of work, research, experimentation, and refining before I arrived at my definition of leadership. To become a great leader, more importantly a visionary leader, requires a significant deal of work and conscious effort. I had to be very intentional in my quest for understanding what a great leader does, why a great leader seeks this role, and ultimately understand how to become a visionary.

1st attribute of leadership: Desire. I consciously committed myself to becoming a great leader. It takes time, effort, and risk.

2nd attribute of leadership: Be a teacher. I have enough confidence in myself to be willing to share all my learning's from my work, education, and experience.

3rd attribute of leadership: Challenge. I have been willing to lean forward into risk throughout my career while being a critical and provocative thinker. I consistently asked the question "so what," not to be difficult, but to encourage thoughtfulness and second and third level thinking.

4th attribute of leadership: Courage. Intelligently face challenges. It takes courage to lead into the fray day-after-day – defining accountability, holding people accountable, and helping the right people move towards the right place at the right time.

5th attribute of leadership: Team builder. Respect for everyone is the foundation of building an effective team. Each member must have respect for themselves, their teammates and the organization, and the leader having respect for all. Having universal respect sets the course and helps with understanding the path to achieving a common goal.

6th attribute of leadership: Collaborator. Very early in my career, I found that all good leaders pull appropriate resources together to help their team grow as a group and as individuals.

7th attribute of leadership: Communicator. Without the appropriate level of communication the other characteristics of leadership are of no value. A good leader communicates, communicates, and communicates!

Lastly, as these seven attributes build upon each other and become an innate skill, we achieve the pinnacle of leadership: insightfulness – the true essence of a visionary.

Through my years of experience I feel I have moved from being a first line employee to becoming a visionary – a state of "enlightened competence." This is the state true leaders desire to achieve. It is the state where leaders see things no one else sees: gaps, solutions, opportunities, and improved methodologies from a broader perspective. Trusting your insight with clear vision and true intent, for the benefit of those you lead, is what separates a great leader from the rest. This is the highest state of leadership we can strive to achieve – to become a great leader, become a visionary!

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About Fernando Martinez

A seasoned business executive with more than three decades' experience in sales and operations, Fernando Martinez is your candidate for the office of Seattle Port Commissioner, Position #4.

As the President and CEO of the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council, a nonprofit organization established in 1978, Fernando leads the Council's growth and economic impact upon minority businesses in the Northwest Mountain region. From 2013 to 2014, Fernando was Chair of the National MCSD's President's Council, leading 36 regional Council presidents through a national strategic restructure. He currently serves as a member of the City of Seattle Mayor's WMBE Advisory Committee and the Airport Retail and Dining Advisory Committee. He was recently invited to review Seattle-Tacoma International Airport's initiatives to recruit MBEs in retail and restaurant opportunities. Fernando led and managed business units within companies such as Xerox Corporation, Starbucks Corporation, Westin Hotels & Resorts, and the former Washington Mutual, Inc. His work resulted in successful collaborations between operations and sales and delivered year-over-year increases in efficiencies, revenue, and profit. Fernando has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at El Paso and an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix.