Leadership has many components and can be defined in many ways. At the present, our country, communities and organizations are suffering from a leadership vacuum. It’s not that we don’t have good leaders out here, it’s our leaders are lacking integrity, character and insightful judgement just for basic human decency. When we find great leaders who are dedicated to growing people and solving problems we need to highlight these people and learn from them. There are many qualities that will separate the good leaders from the mediocre leaders. These are some of the people that should be admired for their leadership qualities:
- Honesty and Integrity
Towson University Women’s Basketball coach, Diane Richardson is the epitome of dynamic integrity. She is one of the leaders who I will follow off a cliff (1/2 story of course) because in her lifetime as a financial guru and a successful basketball coach she has displayed both honesty and integrity in getting her employees and teams to follow her. Diane has stuck to her core values and beliefs no matter the obstacles put in front of her life. Anyone who has come in contact with her will tell you the same thing, “Diane changed my life”
2. Inspire Others
Reggie Moore the President and CEO of Blue Cliff College displays something that is one of the most difficult task of a leader. He inspires his employees to be better than they really are. He understands his employees look to him when things get tough and they will follow his lead in tone and mannerism. His calmness under pressure is what gravitates people to want to work for him. As John Quincy Adams says “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” If you can inspire your employees anything is possible.
As an effective leader of people in education, Josua Padron, Executive Director of West Coast University has no challenges when it comes to getting people to move in a direction that helps the mission of his university. His confidence in himself and his vision is what gains him the respect of his employees througout the campus and in the educational industry. Forward looking leaders as Dr. Padron has to show confidence in his people so his people will continue to strive for their best. His leadership style is uplifting because he allows his people to use their individual skills to better the team. Only great leaders do that.
4. Decision-Making Capabilities
I like what Napoleon Hill said in his book – Law of Success:
“If you are one of those who make up their minds today and change them again tomorrow you are doomed to failure. If you are not sure which way to move it is better to shut your eyes and move in the dark than to remain still and make no move at all.
The world will forgive you if you make mistakes, but it will never forgive you if you make no DECISIONS, because it will never hear of you outside of the community in which you live.
No matter who you are or what may be your life-work, you are playing checkers with TIME! It is always your next move. Move with quick DECISION and Time will favor you. Stand still and Time will wipe you off the board.
You cannot always make the right move, but, if you make enough moves you may take advantage of the law of averages and pile up a creditable score before the great game of LIFE is ended.”
Decisions are what separate good leaders from the great ones. Sometimes you have to make a wrong decision just to understand how to make good ones. The key is understanding when to bring key holders into the decision making process and when to just make a decision on your own.
Bill McCormick the President and CEO of Americlaims Billing knows that accountability is more than being responsible for actions. He understands accountability is making right decisions and solving issues with asking questions. He knows if you solve issues you become indespensible. He’s built his company on the foundation of decisions and solving problems for his clients. Leaders who understand how to solve issues internally and with external customers become the go to leader everyone wants to affliate with.
6. Good Communicator
Rosa Asensio Rivera understands the importance of solid communication. Rosa operaes multiple businesses in the United States and overseas. She has to communicate her vison for her teams so everyone understands the strategy needed to achieve success and grow the business. Rosa knows her words can be powerful and can lead teams to do the unthinkable. She’s a visionary who understands what she says needs to be understood in order for her companies to grow. Most leaders don’t understand the power of their words. Rosa does!!
7. Creativity and Innovation
One person I know displays great creativity in her personal and professional life and it’s Michelle Lamb Moone. Operating a multi-million dollar enterprise in the Human Resources industry is no easy task. What distinguishes Michelle from others is her desire to out work and out research her competitors. It’s not easy being creative and innovative at the same time. Michelle has always thought outside of the box to keep her company at the top. She’s a life changer because she cares about her team and expects them to care about others. Not easy to do but this makes Michelle L. Moone one of the great leaders of our time.
What I learned from my mentor Willie Jolley, one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard is, don’t be predictable and always do something unexpected.
With that in mind I will only give you 8 qualities instead of 10 only because giving you 2 more would be to predictable.
Great leaders have to learn how to lead and they really understand people in general. The best leaders understand their employees strengths and weaknesses and they will expose their strengths as much as they can. Great leaders can’t be afraid to make other people look good. They understand they don’t have all the answers and bring in people who can do things they could never do. It’s not hard but your heart has to be in the right place otherwise our so called leaders are just working to accomplish some goal or work on some mission without the input of their most precious commodity – their people.