Would you follow your own leadership?

Marcus Straub
Marcus Straub

We lead at home, at work and in our community. We lead by example through the act of living our lives. Our team members watch. Our kids watch. Our significant others, friends, extended family and people we don’t even know watch us for guidance on how to navigate successfully through work and life.

Effective leadership 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 is one that’s true, calm, intelligent, fair, inspiring and forward-focused. Your example should be proactive rather than reactive, egalitarian in nature and never based in fear. The greatest leaders in history had these very same qualities, which is what spoke to the hearts and minds of their followers.

One critical trait of being an effective, trusted and admired leader is self-accountability. When you’re self-accountable, you hold yourself to the standards of integrity, openness, teamwork, truly listening, effective communication, empowering others, learning, growth 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 to be their very best and develop constructive approaches to accomplish this transformative feat.

If you’ve ever been in a situation in which a person in a leadership position wasn’t calm and composed, but instead irrational, verbally abusive or demeaning to others, you understand leadership is about actions, not titles. When a “leader” adds to the dysfunction of a situation rather than contributes to its improvement, leadership is destroyed. Team members come to distrust this person and loyalty evaporates. Their respect for the person vanishes, along with their willingness to listen and desire to follow.

Truly effective, trusted and admired leadership is not 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 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 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 theirs to fix, do so and then work constructively with others to be accountable as well. They aren’t the victims of others or circumstances. They don’t break in the face of challenging situations.

Effective, trusted and admired leaders seek solutions. Rather than seeing problems, they see opportunities for growth, development and improvement. They have a “get-to” attitude, are grateful for life and all that it contains and don’t take people and life for granted. They understand the value of life, time and empowered team members.

Developing the ability to lead has an enormously positive effect on the success of your businesses. As your leadership becomes more effective, so does the rest of your team. The company will thrive as team members are inspired; positive energy grows; and people feel heard, recognized, supported, valued and 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.

Effective, trusted and admired leadership, in life and business, is about holding yourself accountable first to a direction and an outcome. From there, the people around you will have a solid example to follow and greater success for all will ensue.

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.