Leadership is defined primarily by what we do, not by the role we have been assigned. Good leadership starts “in here” and has values, clarity and a vision of what is really important. People instinctively follow good leaders. In essence who you are comes before what you do. If you are wondering whether you are a good leader, simply remember what you were like the last time you were under pressure or stress. Your actions spoke louder than words.
Good leaders have high expectations both of themselves and others. They develop relationships and believe in people. They understand their ability to influence the performance of others. Effective leaders convey an energy and a passion that encourages others. They are not interested in blaming others for problems but rather look for solutions.
Good leaders set an example. From the volumes of literature on leadership research, we learn that above all, people want to believe in and trust their leaders. Credibility makes a huge difference in both our performance and our commitment to an organization.
Unfortunately what we have been witnessing sometimes is the actions of a few who have climbed their ladder of success wrong by wrong!
Good leaders don’t fake it. As an executive or business owner, if you believe the people you lead don’t recognize your weaknesses, think again. As their leader, it is up to you to set the tone by managing your own behavior.
At the same time good leaders don’t devalue the contributions of others. Synergy is built by the exchange of ideas. There is nothing quite so degrading as being spoken down to. Leaders do not have all the answers and it is imperative that they become good listeners. Think of a person you admire and there is a strong likelihood that he or she is the type of person who will listen to your concerns. Strong companies are built one person at a time.
We each express our leadership strengths in our own way and in our own place of choice. It may be in the corporate boardroom, on the shop floor, or within our family. The most important thing we will ever ask ourselves is: “What kind of legacy do we wish to leave?” How will our children describe us to their friends? What does our staff say about us to others? Will our peers miss our input and insight?
Answers those question and transform into a great Leader.