It doesn’t matter if you’re leading a country, a company, a department, a team, a church, or even a family … leadership has nothing to do with title or position. You could be the president of a country or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and not be a leader.
In truth, leadership has everything to do with behavior. If you behave in these 10 ways, you can and will be an effective leader.
1. A leader does the right thing.
A poor leader focuses his energy on “sounding good.” And he spends a great deal of time on how he can spin a story so he comes out “looking good.”
By contrast, a great leader not only knows what is right, he also does what is right. He turns the courage of his convictions into action.
2. A leader is more concerned with “we” than “me.”
Some “so-called” leaders are on an ego trip, seeking all the glory and hogging all the limelight. From their perspective, it’s all about me, me, me.
It happens when a certain team develops a new product that becomes a huge financial success, but you only see the CEO on TV talking about her vision and how her vision allowed this product to be developed. Shame on her.
By contrast, when Jill Blashack-Strahan, President and CEO of Tastefully Simple, received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, she said, “I didn’t build this company. An amazing team of dedicated, passionate and loyal people did.”
3. A leader demonstrates an unshakeable positive attitude.
In other words, he exudes energy. He displays enthusiasm. He projects cheerfulness. And it is nothing short of contagious.
I’m sure you’ve come across some leaders like that. No matter what is going on, you’ve noticed that leader’s department or company is filled with people who are pumped up, excited, and connected. You may have even wished you were a part of his organization … because it’s only natural to be drawn to such high levels of energy.
Of course, the leader may not always feel positive. That’s life. But as military genius Laz Tzu pointed out, “Leadership has been defined as the ability to hide your panic from others.” Or as we say today, “Fake it til you make it.”
4. A leader accepts responsibility.
Unfortunately, it is all too common to see an ego-driven leader take all the credit when one of her decisions works out well. But when one of her decisions proves to be wrong, she cannot be found, has nothing to say, or blames someone else for her failures.
A real leader, on the other hand, accepts responsibility. When necessary, she’s able to say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry.” As President Dwight Eisenhower said, “Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.”
5. A leader is a goal setter.
Invariably, great leaders are goal setters. In fact, you would be hard pressed to point out any great leaders who simply wandered their way to success.