People everywhere continue to look for the secret to becoming a better leader. Thousands of books and articles have been written on the art of leadership all claiming to have the “answers.” The fact is there is no one answer, no “secret.” However, some guiding principles and skills are fundamental to successful leaders everywhere. These skills, principles, and traits can be developed. Rate yourself in each area below, identify areas of weaknesses, and then create some goals and action steps to help you develop the successful leadership traits.
• Leaders are grounded. They know who they are and where they are going. They set the direction and pace for the organization/department and lead by example. An effective leader helps to create an organization where everyone feels free to be open, innovative, and alive to possibilities.
• Leaders provide the vision, values, and strategies to transform their organizations to higher levels of sustained success. Leaders take the company to where it has not been. Leaders are visionaries, coaches, mentors, teachers, students, and more. They are constantly seeking, learning, improving, and stretching their capabilities. They set the example, establish the environment, and implement the processes for everyone in the organization to adhere to the same standards.
• Successful leaders have personal and organizational values, which govern their behavior. They lead by values. Balancing the needs of the individuals with the needs of the company by aligning the vision, values, and resources of all concerned. Organizational values are an integral part of your Strategic Plan and the cornerstone for the actions and decisions of everyone in the organization. Those values are driven throughout the organization by your behavior and your example. As a leader, if you engage in behavior which conflicts with your values, you will sacrifice your credibility. The end does not justify the means.