Ask a group of people what the defining characteristic of a good leader is and you'll get a lot of different answers. I recently posed that question in Twitter, asking people to complete the sentence "Good leaders always..." Here's what I got back.\n\nGood leaders always...\n\n\nlisten (three people said this)\ntreat people with respect (two mentions)\ncommunicate clearly\nare considerate of others\nsolicit competing views, take time to think and then make a firm decision\nset the direction, then step back to support and enable the people who have to go there, letting them determine how to accomplish the vision\nincorporate anthropology; i.e., engage understanding, context and motivations of constituents (peer, adversary, competitor, boss, customer, etc.)\ninspire others\nhave good followers\n\nI love this list! Particularly the last point, because if you don't start with the right people on the bus (as Jim Collins likes to say), you won't get very far.\n\nThat's why, for the fourth year in a row, we've produced a special report on leadership development. This year's package begins with a probing look at the future of IT leadership, and the picture is not all that bright. As the first full-career generation of CIOs begins to retire and others increasingly take on broader responsibilities or move out of technology altogether, many CIOs don't know who will lead IT in the years ahead, writes Michael Fitzgerald in "Finding Tomorrow's Leaders Today." To help you leave a different legacy, we've included features on both mentoring and succession planning, with lots of great lessons learned from your peers. We conclude with the list of this year's Ones to Watch honorees: men and women who have been double-vetted by accomplished CIOs\u2014endorsed by their bosses and then evaluated by members of the CIO Executive Council.\n\nAnd I guess we picked some good ones. In the months since we did the judging, at least three have received promotions. Congratulations to Tomas Gregorio, now VP and CIO at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; Jackie Magno, SVP and CIO at SAP Business Objects; and Ed Earl, CIO at Littelfuse.\n\nIf you haven't checked out Twitter yet, please do! Four of the responses above came from IT execs. You can follow us at twitter.com\/CIOMagazine.