Does your leadership inspire, support and motivate?

Marcus Straub

If you’ve ever been in a situation in which a person in a position of leadership was irrational or verbally abusive and didn’t listen, you understand leadership is about actions, not 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 lose the willingness to listen to this leader and respect for the person vanishes along with their desire to follow.

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 example in all the areas of your life. And your team members are watching. Your children, significant others, friends, extended family and people you don’t even know watch you for guidance on how to successfully navigate the professional and personal realms of life.

Effective, trusted 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, true leaders mentor others to reach for more within themselves and the experience. Is your leadership as solid as you’d like?

To be an effective, trusted and admired leader, you must consistently set an example for others to follow — an example that empowers others to become and achieve what they’re capable of. An example that’s integrity based, true, composed, intelligent, fair, responsive, inspiring and forward-focused; that’s proactive rather than reactive; egalitarian; and not based on fear. The greatest leaders in history exhibited these same qualities that spoke to the hearts and minds of their followers.

A critical trait of solid leadership is accountability — the ability to hold yourself to standards of integrity, openness, teamwork, truly listening, effective communication, empowering others, learning and implementation. 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 and admired leaders enjoy holding themselves accountable to the very best within them. They also find pleasure in helping others be their very best as well and develop constructive approaches to accomplish this transformative feat.

The very best leaders are those who look to themselves first for the improvements that can be made. They don’t blame others. They look in the mirror, own what is theirs to fix, do so and then work constructively with others to be accountable as well. They’re not victims of others or circumstances, and they maintain their composure.

Effective, trusted and admired leaders focus on solutions. Rather than being blinded by problems, they see opportunities for growth, development and improvement. They have a “get-to” attitude. They’re grateful for life and all it offers. They don’ take people and life for granted. They understand the value of life, time and people.

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 drive the success of your business. As your leadership becomes more effective, so will the rest of the 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 will strive to be their best as they’re consistently encouraged to do so by your example.

There’s a tremendous need for solid leadership, especially now. Given the political divides, economic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions, only effective, trusted and admired leadership will get us to the other side sooner and be better for it.

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.

If you aspire to be the best leader you can be, explore your resources and options, and then go for it.