You’re leading at home, at work and in the community. You lead by example through the way you live your life. Your team members are watching. Your spouse, children, extended family, friends and people you don’t even know are watching you for guidance on how to navigate successfully through work and life.
Effective leadership in your business begins with you. To be an effective, trusted and admired leader, you must consistently provide a solid example for others to follow — an example that empowers others to achieve what they’re capable of; one that’s true, composed, intelligent, fair, responsive, inspiring and forward-focused; that’s proactive rather than reactive, egalitarian in nature and never fear-based. The greatest leaders in history had these very same qualities, which spoke to the hearts and minds of their followers.
One critical trait of an effective, trusted and admired leader is self-accountability — the ability to hold yourself to the 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 that’s within them. They also find pleasure in helping others to be their very best as well, and they develop constructive approaches to accomplish this transformative feat.
If you’ve ever been in a situation in which the person in the leadership position was irrational rather than calm and composed, didn’t listen and was verbally abusive or demeaning, you understand leadership is about actions and not titles. In circumstances in which the “leader” adds to the dysfunction instead of contributing to its improvement, leadership is damaged and even destroyed. Team members come to distrust this person, and their loyalty evaporates. They also lose the willingness to listen to this leader, respect for the person vanishes and so does their desire to follow.
Truly effective, trusted and admired leadership isn’t about ordering people around like a drill sergeant. Leadership is about helping those around you become leaders in their own right. It’s about guiding people to the discovery and utilization of their potential on a consistent basis. Rather than creating dependency and fear in others, a true leader mentors others to reach for more in the pursuit of happiness and success.
The very best leaders are those who look upon themselves first for the improvements that can be made. They don’t blame others. They look in the mirror, own what is their’s 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 don’t break in the face of challenging situations.
Effective, trusted and admired leaders are solution-oriented. Rather than being blinded by problems, they see opportunities for growth, development and improvement. They have a “get-to” attitude, are grateful for life and all that it contains. They don’t take people and life for granted. They understand the value of life and time and empowered team members.
In the words of the late entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn, “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”
Developing the ability to lead will have an enormously positive effect on the success of your businesses. As leadership becomes more effective, so will the rest of the team. The company will thrive as team members are inspired; positive energy grows; and as people feel heard, recognized, supported, valued and are encouraged to become their very best.
If, after honest self-appraisal, you believe you and your business would benefit from some leadership development work, contact a qualified professional to assist you.
As a leader, it’s wise to be what you want from others first and to treat people as you want to be treated. This is called integrity, and it’s the foundation of true leadership.