There has been much written on leadership but in its most simple definition, leadership is the ability to influence others.
In my 10+ years of leadership experience, I have made many mistakes and have learned much through trial and error.
As a result of my experiences, I believe that there are 6 characteristics of a great leader.
To become one, it comes down to a commitment to CHANGE –
Competence – If you don’t have an understanding of the area, unit, or section you are responsible for overseeing, a “rah-rah” approach will only get you so far. Take time to understand what your people do. You don’t have to get too far into all of the nuts and bolts, but having an understanding of what they do, and how it fits into the organization, is necessary.
Humility – No one wants to work for someone who is arrogant, or has a “know it all” mentality. Your ability to lead is dependent on your ability to relate to people, and their ability to relate to you.
Attitude – Attitude is everything! People are looking for direction, and will feed off the energy of the leader. The type of attitude you bring into your workplace will spark inspiration, fear, or indifference in those around you.
Navigation – In addition to influencing, a leader must have vision and the ability to navigate a team or organization in the right direction. This involves having the foresight to see what is in front of you and making the necessary adjustments along the way to keep everyone on the right path.
Generosity – Do you give to others without expecting them to help you in return? Are you generous towards your people with your time or your help? Do you take the time to mentor and explain? It is important for us to give to our people and organization with no strings attached.
Ethics – Ethics form the base of a great leader. There are many examples of leaders who have influenced others, but who have done so in a negative or destructive way. Our ethics are the guiding force for us to lead with excellence.
Great leaders are made, not born, and we can all become one if we commit to CHANGE.