We're not necessarily talking know-how, or values, or character traits on this post. This is more about things that are tangible, and help you make ideas happen, and get things done, and manage the chaos and tension of being a leader. So here you go, a few things all leaders should have:
1. a moleskine notebook (or other types, but some type of notebook) to write down your thoughts
2. a Google Reader account that lets you track/read tons of blogs and content feeds
3. Subscriptions to magazines, industry newsletters, newspapers, etc. Fast Company, Neue, Relevant, Leadership, GOOD and Fortune are a few of my favorites.
4. A simple system for getting things done. Recommend you check out Scott Belsky's book Making Ideas Happen and also The Action Method. You can also check out my system for getting things done. Homemade and customized for me, but it works pretty well.
5. Evernote for capturing ideas either on your phone or on your computer. Any time an idea comes up, wherever I am I can capture it on Evernote.
6. A Smart Phone that has camera and video capability for capturing moments, whether a pic or video.
7. A good set of headphones for cranking up the music or blocking out sound. I'm a big fan of Bose headphones. But there are lots out there that are great.
8. Consistent exercise regiment. Work out, run, lift, hike, etc on a regular basis. You have to have energy to lead.
9. A place to think, dream, get away, and refresh. This might be a condo on the beach, or a cabin in the mountains, or a lake close by for water skiing, or a duck blind in the marsh of Arkansas (that's me!). But have somewhere that you can intentionally get away and think/dream without distractions. You don't need to own these places.... Leaders always have friends and connections with folks who are more than willing to let you use them.
10. Contact management system- whether it's Microsoft Outlook, or Salesforce, or your Google account, or an excel spreadsheet, every leader needs a great way to keep up with all their relationships and contacts. My favorite is Outlook.