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Now, More Than Ever, Examples of Leadership Needed - Column #202

Marcus Straub
Marcus Straub

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re a leader. You lead at work, at home and in your community. You lead by your example in all areas of your life.

Your team members are watching. Your spouse, children, extended family and people you don’t even know are watching for guidance on how to successfully navigate the professional and personal realms of life. Is your example of leadership as solid as you’d like it to be?

There’s always a need for leadership. But it’s especially crucial at a time when a pandemic, economic problems, political divides, racial issues and widespread protests present challenges.

If you’ve ever been in a situation in which a person in a position of leadership was irrational — not calm and composed — demeaning, verbally abusive or didn’t listen, you understand leadership is about actions and not titles. When a “leader” adds to the dysfunction of the situation instead of contributing to its improvement, leadership is damaged and even destroyed. People distrust this person and loyalty evaporates. They lose the willingness to listen to this leader, respect for the person vanishes and so does their desire to follow.

To be an effective, trusted, respected and admired leader, you must consistently provide a solid example for others to follow — an example that empowers others to be the best they can be. Good leadership is composed, fair, inspiring, intelligent, response and true. It’s proactive rather than reactive, egalitarian in nature and not based in fear. The greatest leaders in history demonstrated these qualities, which spoke to the hearts and minds of their followers.

Yet another critical trait of effective leadership is accountability. That’s the ability to hold yourself to the standards of effective communication, empowerment, integrity, learning, openness and teamwork. True leaders don’t need others to hold them accountable because they know the power of implementing these qualities on a consistent basis. In fact, effective, trusted, respected and admired leaders enjoy holding themselves accountable to the very best within them. They also find pleasure in helping others be their best and develop constructive approaches to accomplish this transformative feat.

The best leaders are those who look at themselves first for the improvements that can be made. They don’t blame others. They look in the mirror, own what’s theirs to fix, do so and then work constructively with others to be accountable as well. They’re not the victims of others or circumstances. They maintain their composure.

Effective, trusted, respected and admired leaders seek solutions. Rather than being blinded by problems, they see opportunities for growth, development and improvement. They have a “get-to” attitude and remain grateful for life and all it contains. They don’t take people and life for granted. They understand the value of life, time and people.

The best leaders are aware of both their strengths and weaknesses. They know when to engage professionals to help them develop strategies to effectively deal with their weaknesses and leverage their strengths more completely. If you aspire to be the best leader you can be, explore your resources and options and then go for it.

Solid leadership in your business and life begins with you and provides a consistent and credible example for the rest of your team to follow. Developing the ability to lead effectively will have an enormously positive effect on the success of your businesses. As your leadership becomes more effective, so will the rest of your team. The company culture will thrive as team members are inspired by your leadership. Positive energy will grow as people feel heard, recognized, supported and valued. They will strive to be their best as they’re consistently encouraged to do so by your example.

There’s a great need for solid leadership, especially at this time. Effective, trusted, respected and admired leadership will help us get to the other side sooner and be all the better for it.

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