by Debbie Ruston, Featured Contributor
THERE IS MUCH WRITTEN about what makes a good leader, a “respected” leader. In my experience, there are very specific things that are often overlooked.
Strive for Excellence – The respected leader is always striving to do their best. Not perfect, but their best. I learned many years ago (when I was a perfectionist) that attempting to be perfect is a disservice to others who will often feel they can never measure up. Strive for excellence instead of perfectionism, and other’s will be inspired to follow your lead.
BE the Inspiration – There will always be challenges that come along, however, you can stand up and find solutions within challenges. This inspires people that would have otherwise given up, and teaches them to look deeper to find solutions in the future.
Keep your commitments – The respected leader does what they say they will do.
Be approachable, not feared – There is nothing worse than a feared leader. This is an outdated management style that has no place in today’s workplace. Fear does not motivate. Fear does not allow growth. Fear does not engage people. The respected leader is approachable, and willing to talk about what is on the mind of their group, is willing to listen to ideas and suggestions, and give valuable feedback.
Reach back to help others – Be willing to teach what you know. This is one of the differences in forward thinking leaders compared to ego centered managers. The ego centered manager likes to feel they know everything which gives them a false sense of being needed. They wouldn’t consider teaching others because they would feel threatened if someone junior knew as much as them. On the other hand, the respected leader understands the importance of giving back and helping others move into leadership. They pass on their knowledge, teaching others to become leaders which inspires and engages them. Building an organization like this is a powerful way to do business.
Do things the “right” way – This mean having the highest level of ethics and integrity. Although there may be easier or quicker ways of doing things, the respected leader is not interested in the easier or quicker way…they are committed to doing things with the highest level of ethics and integrity, and are willing to take longer, harder roads in order to do it right. This alone makes you stand out above the crowd because most are not willing to do this.
Be visionary – The respected leader can see what is possible, not just what is, and they are willing to take action steps to create their vision. They do not give in to fear and limiting beliefs…they move forward with powerful bold decisions that support the vision they have.
Leave a legacy – The respected leader is someone who has an impact long after they have left. People still talk about the impact they had on them and the difference they made.