by Anne-Maria Yritys, Featured Contributor
I AM STILL LEARNING, but my experience has taught me that true leadership is a quality that only few men, and women, possess. More than 20 years of activity in working life, but only rarely, if ever, have I encountered any man or woman fulfilling the qualities of a truly great leader.
Yet, our world needs excellent leaders more than ever. In times of increased demand for excellent leadership, how can we achieve our target of developing such qualities in people? And what are the qualities that a great leader ought to have?
Many times, a leader is thought of as someone capable of inspiring, motivating, and driving “the pack”. True, to a certain extent, but a true leader is always willing and ready to walk the talk alone if required. Sometimes, a leader better not listen to what everyone else is saying, but rather show the way and take action – followed or not.
A true leader always expresses integrity. Intuitive and awaken people will always sense honesty – from miles away. Non-loyal and dishonest behavior always leaves a trail – direct, assertive, and honest behavior, on the other side, require no further explanations.
Furthermore, excellent leaders do not engage in “lower spiritual activities”, such as gossiping, poor behavior, backstabbing, spreading rumors or anything alike. Neither do they behave in a way that increases uncertainty or mirrors non-excellence in other people. Excellent leaders focus on achieving a goal, a mission, and work with purpose.
Excellence is a choice, and a path of learning. Leaders can be both born and developed, and despite of insecurities and deficiencies, almost anyone can be developed to become an excellent leader. Moreover, excellence has nothing to do with age but rather with experience, behavior, and readiness for leadership.
We all have our weaknesses. One step towards achieving greatness and becoming a great leader is to recognize our humanity, our personal weaknesses, and the ability to transform those into our greatest source of strength.