“True leadership is not defined by power, notoriety, authority, prestige, status or job title.”
This is such a wonderful quote and highlights that leadership is not entirely about having authority over others. It is what you do with the authority that has been placed in your hands and the positive impact that you have on the lives of those whom you lead.
You may operate in management roles in your place of work, voluntary groups, church ministry and in the running of your home.
Does this in itself make you a leader?
Below I will outline my top eight characteristics of a true leader (in no particular order);
1. A leader believes in those who are walking with him. He expects them to succeed. I say ‘walking’ rather than ‘following’ as leaders raise up leaders and managers simply have followers.
2. A leader identifies the areas of strengths and weaknesses of those he leads. He works with them to develop on both, to bring out abilities they did not even know they possessed.
3. A leader has passion. He is positive and believes in the cause. His passion inspires others to give their best.
4. A leader has integrity. He does what he promises to do and has a valid reason if he cannot. He is honest with what he is able to deliver and does not give false hope. He does not take short cuts or focus solely on his own gain.
5. A leader can laugh at himself. He is confident enough to allow the ‘joke’ to be on him. He does not take himself too seriously.
6. A leader does not think he has all the answers. He is aware of his limitations though he may not shout them from the rooftop! He knows he can learn much by listening to the ideas of others and running with them if they are viable.
7. A leader values people. He believes everyone has something to offer. He appreciates those who go above and beyond the call of duty and has no problem in telling them so.
8. A leader works to understands people; why they act in the way they do. He identifies how he can work with those deemed as difficult and he cares about the things that concern them.
So, to round up, these are eight qualities that I believe will enhance your effectiveness as a leader. You may already possess some of these qualities or indeed feel that some are not necessary for the journey you are taking.
Are there qualities you would add to this list?
Are you a leader and in what capacity?