Are good leaders forceful, directive, decisive and declarative? Or is good leadership thoughtful, collaborative, visionary and empathetic? You may think all these elements are important. Discuss this with a group of people and you will get different answers. I know because I have asked these questions in Leadership Circles I lead across different forums, from corporate executives to startup founders, solopreneurs and emerging leaders. There are a wide range of definitions of good leadership. From these interactions and my own experience over 25 years as a corporate executive and leadership coach, I find the best leaders to be open and self-aware.
What I believe is most important is that we all know what we value and act accordingly. We all have leadership qualities, but don’t always recognize them as such. I see this frequently with introverts who are powerfully quiet in their ability to observe and absorb subtle information about everything that is going on in a given situation. Their understated reserve is often mistaken for shyness or lack of leadership, however their ability to assess and see what others often miss is actually a powerful leadership tool. Insight is its own strength. The bigger question is whether their organizations, and they themselves, can see how important their unique perspective is.
Don’t underestimate how your strengths contribute to your leadership style. The more you value your talents and advocate for yourself and your contribution, the greater understanding others will have about what you bring to the table. Leadership isn’t only about directing people to do things.
The most effective leaders are clear about their values and come across authentically. They do what they say and say what they will do and bring others along on their journey. Whether they are building a business, designing a new product or leading a country – leaders align people around their vision. Now it’s up to us to assess whether we share their vision and values.
If you want to grow and own your leadership style with the support of a coach, contact us for a complimentary Strategy Session to discuss your goals and vision. We would welcome the opportunity to have more leaders who are grounded in their core values in the world – we need you!
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