In thinking about our own leadership, we’d all benefit from considering what it is about some leaders that make them worth following over others.
I recently considered some of the things I’ve observed in leaders that resulted in me willingly following them. The list was extensive. But though my list was big, for the purpose of this post, I’ve kept it to just six.
Based on my list, here are just a few of the leadership attributes that I think would make you a leader worth following. You may have others, so let me know what you think in the comments below.
#1. You have a desire to make a difference
Influencing change is at the heart of leadership. All effective leaders want to make a difference.
We’ve all been given talents to be used for the good of others and a responsibility to love and serve those around us. And deep inside, leaders know this to be true.
As a result, they have a desire to impact others and make a difference.
#2. You learn to live with your imperfections
All good leaders, despite knowing they’ll make mistakes, will continue in their efforts to influence positive change because they’re passionate about something and driven in their pursuit of fulfilling purpose.
We all have something good to contribute, and equally, we’re all susceptible to getting things wrong. But strong leaders know this, embrace it, and work through it.
The effective leader is the one who’s committed to personal maturity that’ll equip him to best serve others.
#3. You learn to monitor the voices in your head
Every leader knows that niggling voice. The one that seeks to keep them quiet, tells them not to rock the boat, and attempts to convince them to give up or settle for less.
The growing leader recognises and battles the voices in their head. Why? Because they know that their thought life is key to their effectiveness.
#4. You help to solve problems
Leaders solve problems and rectify things.
Good leaders always seek to answer the ‘why?’ question in order to influence change for the good of those around them.
We all encounter problems daily, but the effective leader is the one who doesn’t just see the problems, but feels compelled to address them.
Ken Robinson says,
“The role of the creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued.”
Therefore, good leaders aren’t expected to have all the ideas or answers.
In fact, the best leaders are those who acknowledge their limitations (see #2) and are secure enough within themselves to take on board the ideas of others.
#5. You make things happen
The best leaders recognise that leadership is about getting things done. They know that ideas without implementation is hallucination.
Effective leaders understand that leadership isn’t simply about having great ideas, but about moving ideas forward and somehow making them become a reality.
Ideas alone count for very little. As such, its those who make things happen that are best positioned to change the world and leave a lasting legacy.
Great leaders are those who are able to balance vision, faith, and pragmatism, whilst remaining true to themselves and their values – by no means an easy feat!
They don’t just dream, they do.
#6. You take your responsibilities seriously
A true leader isn’t content with simply getting things done. They see what they do as fulfilling a call to something bigger than themselves. Why? Because they take their leadership responsibility seriously,
Whether they’re raising children, developing a business, or cultivating a relationship with a spouse, the most effective leaders efforts are purposeful and with intent.
Leadership isn’t beyond your reach
Leadership is too often perceived by many as something out ‘there’, unattainable, and only for the ‘chosen’ few. But the reality is something quite different.
We’re all called to lead. And every one of us have the resources to grow in our leadership capacity and influence real and significant change.
Over to you
Which of the six attributes stood out most to you? What would you add to the list? Add your thoughts in the comments below.