"To rediscover great leadership, we must return to the basics of leading." - Lolly Daskal - 2014
With all the recent news it should be no surprise that the public has the lowest confidence in corporate leadership. The news is collectively dismal for others, as well. Government officials , reporters and journalists, small business owners, and ministers/clergy are all facing some of the lowest confidence numbers overall. These results show, among other things, how hard it can be to find the leader or manager who can be credible, courageous, trustworthy, ethical, and transparent.
But we all know great leadership is possible —because we ourselves want it.
Here are some basic ways that we can be the example of what it looks like:
- Be credible. Do what you say you will do. Too many leaders just do whatever they can get away with.
- Be courageous. Do what’s right, not what’s easy. This one can be hard; doing what is right is rarely easy. And many times leaders choose the wrong path.
- Be trustworthy. Take responsibility for your actions. Stop making excuses for your decisions and rationalizing your choices. The more excuses they hear from you, the less people will trust you.
- Know what you value and believe. Stand by your convictions. Some leaders believe that high standards limit their opportunities. Everyone has their own level, but you cannot be a leader people admire if you don’t have strong convictions.
- Be transparent. Find clarity in transparency. For some the idea of transparency in leadership may be disruptive, but to be unrestricted and open ensures that those you lead are open and unrestricted with you. Today’s power is gained by sharing knowledge not by hoarding it.
- Be honest. Maintain scrupulous honesty. Leaders need to be honest with themselves and others. They need to understand what they can do what they cannot do and consider what they can do better. It is better to be realistic about who you are then have someone call you out on your pretense.
- Be righteous. Value character above perfection. It is often said that character is the cornerstone of leadership, the thing that sets people apart as leaders.