Irrespective of whether leaders are made or born, it is true that to remain effective in our leadership, we must always adapt and improve. Show me a leader who isn’t learning or improving and I’ll show you one who is destined for ineffectiveness. This becomes increasingly important as the pace of business and society quickens and its demands grow more complex. Below are three essential characteristics of leadership that will help us to remain effective as leaders.
Be Teachable – While I don’t like claiming one characteristic as “the most important one”, I would certainly place this one at the top of the list. Why? Pride is the root cause of most business issues. Being teachable means having the freedom to admit you don’t know the answer. Being teachable means listening and considering other people’s ideas. Being teachable means willing to be wrong and willing to be changed. As a leader, I am accustomed to enacting change on other people but sometimes the one who needs to change is ME! Want to improve as a leader? Seek to learn something new today.
Focus on People – It’s a tired phrase that “people are your greatest asset.” But if this sentiment is so commonly understood, why don’t I feel more appreciated for my work? If people are supposedly your greatest asset, why do I feel like a liability? Do you want to be a better leader or more successful in business? Build strong, lasting relationships with people. Take time to genuinely ask someone how they are doing and then find a way to encourage them. Before your next meeting, ask yourself, “how would I need to lead this meeting if I were more focused on the people?” I think you’ll be surprised at how simply putting a little thought into it will go a long way.
Be Passionate – Passion has two parts to it: it must something you are 100% convinced of AND that you think others should know. If you have something you feel 100% convinced about but you really aren’t motivated or concerned whether other people believe it, then you’re not passionate. If you want someone else to believe what you yourself are not convinced of, you will not passionately convince them. Passion has two parts. Being a leader means that you must be passionate about SOMETHING. Ideally as leaders, we should be passionate about leadership, passionate about people, passionate about integrity and getting results that investors/donors expect. Next time you’re in that boring staff meeting, instead of remaining quiet, speak up! Have an opinion and speak passionately about it.
Have some lessons of your own? Share them here, I’d love to hear from you. The world will always need strong leadership. Never stop learning!