Leadership - Character

What Makes a Good Leader Great?

Lead by example.  A culture is set by the Senior Executive Team.  Expectations are set, people look to the leaders.  This is true in a business environment, political and family.  As a leader your actions, words, behaviours show who you are.

"A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He (She) does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his (her) intent." ~ Douglas MacArthur

Genuine leaders understand the collective strength of the many is dependent on ensuring the vulnerable are nurtured and share in the wealth of the many.

A true leader includes people they disagree with, because it is better for the majority to engender trust, empathy and tolerance.

Resolving disagreements is an inevitable part leadership. True leaders understand that there are differing perspectives and that clarifying the drivers of each perspective is an important part of building a robust way forward.  Everyone doesn't have to agree to the final outcome, but everyone needs to agree that the process was fair and unbiased.

The only way to achieve this is with respect for individual opinion and knowledge, integrity in how the information is received and evaluated, open and honest review. Clarity in defining the outcome and why it was chosen.

"A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better." ~ Jim Rohn

True leaders are willing to admit errors and have the courage to always seek the truth.  It takes strength and integrity to manage mis-steps as well as heroic wins.

People intuitively understand integrity when they see it and whether they agree or disagree, they will admire and trust people with integrity.

Leaders with integrity are often great, people with integrity build lasting and worthwhile processes, products, environments, relationships.

Integrity doesn't mean you are perfect, it means you can admit to mis-steps and address the causes and find a resolution.

 "Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs." ~ Albert Einstein


[source: "Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb".]

"Integrity gives you real freedom because you have nothing to fear since you have nothing to hide." ~ Zig Ziglar

[source: Zig Ziglar (1997). “Over the Top: Moving from Survival to Stability, from Stability to Success, from Success to Significance”, p.222, Thomas Nelson Inc]

It is also worth reading The Science Backed Qualities of Good Leaders - Utah Business - Good Leaders have these qualities:

  • Show Empathy
  • Execute Plans with Speed and Accuracy
  • Can be Vulnerable
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