Leadership: 3 Traits That Shine When The Pathway Is Dark
Leaders are not born. They develop over time.
Leadership is one of the most searched for topics on the internet. According to Ubersuggest, one of the most popular keyword search engines, the term leadership is searched over 160,000 times every 30 days or less. That’s a lot of people looking for leadership.
It’s not surprising because leadership is extremely important and without leadership, not a lot gets done that needs to be done.
People want to be led. It’s part of human nature. Most people defer from leadership but will readily follow someone that they trust and feel confident in.
In the 1995 comedy-drama, The American President, Michael J. Fox acting in the role of Lewis Rothschild, assistant to the president said:
“The American people want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.”
Leadership is not something one is born with. It has to be acquired through study, experience, and fortitude. Fortunately, that means that one who decides to become a leader can become a great leader and make a huge difference wherever they are or whatever position they may hold.
There are many traits or characteristics that leadership can be measured by but there are three core leadership qualities that any good leader possesses.
1. Great leaders take time to listen
Nothing engages and encourages a person more than feeling they have been heard and what they say is important.
Good leaders are quick to listen intently and make the person know they have the leader’s attention and openness. This generates mutual respect and trust without which a leader will never succeed in leading people.
Everyone wants to be heard. Whether what is said will make a difference is not always the point. Perhaps what the speaker is saying will make a difference, but the essence is they want to be heard and taken seriously. Once a leader sends such a message leadership becomes less of a challenge.
A good leader takes time to listen, gets to know his or her followers personally, and takes a keen interest in their wellbeing.
2. Leaders made decisions without procrastination
While leadership requires one to take as many facts into account as possible to make a prudent decision, a leader must never be indecisive. Prudent, yes, but never indecisive.
If a leader fails to be decisive a non-decision can be very costly and more so than making a decision that was not the best at the time.
True leaders take risks. It doesn’t mean be reckless, but risks must be taken in order to be an effective leader. Sometimes those risks may not work out, but it’s always better than procrastination.
Think of it this way, procrastination itself is a decision. It’s a decision to do nothing.
The best approach for leadership is to assess the facts that are available at the time and make the best decision then. Being decisive shows those who are following you they can count on knowing a decision will be made and everyone can participate in the steps to make things happen.
3. Real leaders are “go-givers”, not “go-getters”
As a leader ask, “what can I give?” Leaders have big-picture visions. They get it. They grasp long-term planning and its importance and they understand the needs of others and put processes and actions in place to give before getting.
This crucial point is important. Serving others first before being served works. Leaders aren’t afraid to give. They are go-givers instead of being driven by the mindset of getting all that can be gained for themselves.
This character or trait is described in the Bible. The giver sets himself or herself up to be blessed bountifully.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 (NIV).
There are a number of qualities that good leaders have, but three of the pillars are (1) they listen to others and make them feel they are important and what they have to say will be considered.
(2) they take into account all of the facts before making a decision, but they make decisions without procrastinating and (3) they have a mindset of giving before getting.
Leadership is summed up in this quote:
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly” ~ Jime Rohn
Take these leadership qualities and help lead someone to a better tomorrow.