You’re a leader whether you’re aware of it or not. You lead at work, at home, and in your community. You lead by your example in all the areas of your life. Your team members are watching. So are your significant other, children, friends, and extended family. People you don’t even know are watching you for guidance on how to navigate the professional and personal realms of life.
If you’ve ever been in a situation in which a leader was irrational, didn’t listen, or was verbally abusive or demeaning, you understand leadership is about the ways in which people act, not their titles.
When a so-called leader adds to the dysfunction of a situation rather than contributing to its improvement, leadership is damaged and even destroyed. People come to distrust this person and loyalty evaporates. They also lose the willingness to listen to this leader. Respect vanishes and along with it their desire to follow.
Effective, trusted, respected, and admired leadership isn’t about ordering people around like a drill sergeant. True leadership is about helping those around you become leaders in their own right. It’s about guiding people to the discovery and use of their potential on a consistent basis. Rather than creating dependency and fear in others, a true leader mentors others to reach for more within themselves and the experience.
Is your example of leadership as solid as you’d like?
To be an effective, trusted, respected, and admired leader, you must consistently provide an example for others to follow — one that empowers others to achieve what they’re capable of achieving. A good example is based in integrity and forward-focused as well as composed, fair, inspiring, intelligent, and responsive. It’s proactive rather than reactive, egalitarian, and not based in fear. The greatest leaders in history demonstrated these same qualities, which spoke to the hearts and minds of their followers.
One critical trait of a solid leader is self-accountability — the ability to hold yourself to the standards of effective communication, empowering others, integrity, openness, and teamwork. True leaders don’t need others to hold them accountable because they know the power of implementing these qualities on a consistent basis. In fact, effective, trusted, respected, and admired leaders enjoy holding themselves accountable to the best within them. They also take pleasure in helping others be their very best and develop constructive approaches to accomplish this transformative feat.
The very best leaders are those who look at themselves first for the improvements that can be made. They don’t blame others. They look in the mirror, own what’s theirs to fix, do so, and then work constructively with others to be accountable as well. They’re not the victims of others or circumstances. They maintain their composure.
Effective, trusted, respected, and admired leaders are solution-oriented. Rather than being blinded by problems, they see opportunities for development, growth, and improvement. They have a “get-to” attitude, They’re grateful for life and all that it includes. They don’t take people or life for granted. They understand the value of life, people, and time.
Solid leadership in business and life begins with you and provides a consistent and credible example for others to follow. Developing the ability to lead effectively will exert enormously positive influences on your business. As your leadership becomes more effective, so will the rest of your team. The company culture will thrive as team members are inspired by your leadership. Positive energy will grow as people feel heard, recognized, supported, and valued. They’ll strive to do their best because they’re consistently encouraged to do so by your example.
The best leaders are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They know when to engage professionals to help them develop strategies to deal with their weaknesses and leverage their strengths more completely. If you aspire to be the best leader you can be, explore your resources and options and then go for it.
There’s a tremendous need for solid leadership at a time of economic uncertainties, geopolitical tensions, and political strife. Only effective, trusted, respected, and admired leadership will help us all get to the other side sooner and be better for it.