Positions of leadership require a high-level grasp of the intricacies of human behavior. After all, a leader is only as successful as his or her team. Beyond simply motivating a team and being a cheerleader for success, strong leadership requires accepting these four truths.
Strong leaders model authenticity and accountability.
Effective leadership cannot happen without a solid foundation of trust. In order to build a relationship of trust with co-workers and staff, a good leader will need to:
- Bring his or her authentic self to work. In other words, leave the mask at home. Transparency is the byword on which the bedrock of trust is established.
- Admit mistakes. Leaders own their fallibility and are willing to admit to their shortcomings.
- Keep it honest. To model authentic behavior, strong leaders are willing to engage in truthful conversations with their team that are jargon-less and genuine.
- Set the example. Strong leaders understand that it is simply not enough to demand that their teams “do as I say.” Instead, they set the example of accountability by exemplifying a willingness to get into the trenches and do the work that needs to be done.
Strong leaders are people-centric.
The most successful style of leadership is one that focuses on people first: Servant Leadership. Servant leadership begins by making people’s needs a top priority; by committing to the growth of individuals and engaging with them on an emotional and empathic level. Leaders that focus on developing their people, who eliminate roadblocks to success, and actively seek out ways to put their people first — all key components of servant leadership — have a more engaged and productive team.
Strong leaders earn their position every day.
Like any skill, leadership requires diligent and consistent practice. Strong leaders understand that they have not only have to show up and do the routine hard work but also have to actively seek out ways to improve as leaders.
Strong leaders know that authority does not equal leadership.
Simply being in a position of authority does not qualify an individual to lead. Strong leaders have to continually earn their position by being the example they want to see in their teams. Humility, authenticity, strong performance, and being willing to work for the common good are key attributes of strong and successful leaders.