It is a priority for our team in 2018 to both develop our current leadership as well as to provide development for potential leaders within our organization. In fact, we’ve put together a new program at the beginning of this year just to realize that goal.
When it comes to defining the most important qualities of leadership for our team, quite a few ideas come to mind. The first one is sacrifice, which pertains to having the ability to give up your resources to benefit those that you lead (whether that means time, money, or energy).
I also think about being able to give credit whenever a goal has been achieved or a success has been had. Great coaches divvy out praise to their team whenever they get a win. But whenever a loss happens, the coach (or the leader of the organization) should always be there to take the hit. I think that any effective leader has to have that kind of mindset.
Deferred gratification is another good mindset for a leader to have. If someone chose to lead others simply for the purpose of making more money or to look better in front of others, they would probably be doing it for exactly the wrong reasons. Leadership does reward you, but it’s not always going to be something you see immediately.
I don’t think leadership would be whole without speaking of humility, which simply means that we think less of ourselves and more of others. We have to be humble and often set aside our ego in leadership because otherwise it can truly get in the way of being effective.
A leader also needs to be versatile enough to adapt to rapidly changing environments. There are so many things that change very quickly, especially in our current society. A leader has to be open-minded, able to listen to feedback, able to contemplate new ideas, be innovative, and remain open and willing to change. Leadership isn’t a job where you can sit comfortably at a desk with your feet up. It’s hard work that goes on 24/7, following you all the way home. Leaders work hard all the time, regardless of what circle of influence they may be occupying at the moment. It isn’t a light responsibility—it’s extremely important to every individual that you lead.