If you desire to be a leader – professionally and personally, it’s essential to understand the keys that open the door to leadership. What are the tenets of leadership? What are the character traits, communication skills, personality styles, etc. that set an individual apart and mark him/her as a leader?
Does not eliminate uncertainty or discomfort: True leaders are not people who are never afraid of the future or unsure of whether they are making the right decision. Rather, they face their fear and move forward, making the best decision they can with the information they have – and if it goes south, they recognize the issue and move on to plan B.
Takes the long view: True leaders consider the immediate consequence, of course, but they also look beyond to the potential long-term results of their actions.
Confronts the impossible: True leaders hit the wall, like everyone else, but they find a new way to climb it, bore an opening through it, or even tear it down.
Expects to make sacrifices: True leadership does not mean it all goes your way – it often requires personal sacrifice. True leaders are willing to give of themselves to help those they are leading succeed.
Perseveres: True leaders don’t give up. They stay behind the wheel until they reach the destination.
Communicates: True leaders pay attention to their voice tones, inflections, body language, etc. They invite your passion and participation by their voice, but it doesn’t stop here. They stand behind their words – walking the talk, delivering the promise.
Shares: True leaders are genuine, honest, and real. They don’t hide in an office – they get in the trenches with the people they are leading. They aren’t afraid to make mistakes or to acknowledge them, recognizing that leadership is determined by response to mistakes rather than freedom from mistakes.
Respects others: True leaders respect people – from the homeless to the person at the “top.” They extend a genuine caring and interest in the lives of those they lead and those they might lead.
Respects one’s self: True leaders take care of him/herself. They take care of their physical self, as well as their emotions. Whether it’s making wise eating choices, getting sufficient rest, or making time for mental mindfulness, they recognize that to share strength, they first have to build it.
In the end, leading isn’t as much about acquired skills as it is about the inward person. Bethany was a cashier in a fast food restaurant. She had a high school education and made minimum wage. But she connected with people. She knew all her “regulars”, and many of them shared bits and pieces of their lives as Bethany filled their orders. A local business owner was duly impressed, and when he needed to fill a position in his own business, he contacted Bethany. It was a significant step forward and upward for Bethany and all because of the leadership qualities she exhibited.
Ignore for a moment your education, skills, and experience and evaluate your leadership qualities. As you grow in other directions, focus on these attributes and watch for areas where change is needed. Weaving leadership into your professional and personal definition will ensure growth.
Bring your leadership qualities to Springborn Staffing. We specialize in connecting leadership with top companies and organizations in Bangor and Portland, Maine. Contact us today.