Character, as it relates to leadership, has taken on a particular interest for several years. An overwhelming desire to live a life of ethical consistency appears to prevail on the most passionate leaders who deign to merge passion with consistency. They sincerely work to purge their lives of inconsistent behaviors. Author Warren Bennis in his book, “On Becoming a Leader,” notes the traits embodying I am using the word `habit,’ psychology today calls character.
Writes Robert Greenleaf on servant leadership;
“The servant-leader is a servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. The best test is: do those served grow as persons: do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?”
Below are traits:
They are Never Satisfied
Great leaders have an entrepreneurial zeal. They aren’t natural leaders. They stretch themselves to fit into the holes they fear most. These leaders may be hesitant with healthy doses of insecurity, but they conceive ideas and bring them to fruition anyway. They are also never satisfied and constantly looking to embark on new and exciting projects. This also allows them to reflect on the way in which specific work tasks and projects are approached, as these leaders never stand still and are always seeking future growth opportunities. They constantly envision what can be while facing current realities.
They are Driven by the Fear of Obsolescence
Great leaders don’t see themselves as seekers of the Holy Grail. Their humility challenges them to care about the development of their people because they feel the urge of the calling to be stewards, not authoritarians. They accept that they will be misunderstood sometimes. Understanding internally, they too are on a path to discover their true self. They can appreciate the advantages of healthy doses of fear to keep one balanced and humble.
Although it often is detrimental if this fear becomes all-consuming, true leaders use this as an engine to drive their endeavors and achieve future success. This fear then becomes a purposeful tool and one which has the potential to drive greater levels of effort and output. They are as interested in magnifying their talents as they are those in their people. Great leaders can be action oriented with an ability to step back and then put the right things into action at the right time. They especially maintain their drive forward even after they have fallen short of their expectations.
They Are Transparent Communicators
They understand the seat of leadership is not about adornment as they understand all things are temporary. The real ones that become legendary showcase humility and an appreciation for others. They berate and are equally quick to apologize. They listen from the heart not from the tongue genuinely about the needs of others.
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