There are lots of different leadership styles out there. Positive and negative. Effective and ineffective. People-centered and task-centered. But successful leadership doesn’t automatically mean great leadership. Successful leaders celebrate results, but great leadership brings people with you to celebrate together. One thing great leaders all have in common, no matter their individual success or style, are the attitudes they hold.
1. Great leaders place others before themselves
Great leaders live to serve, not to be served. They give to others according to their needs, instead of taking because of their own needs. This attitude builds loyalty because everyone wants to follow a leader committed to seeing them succeed. Loyalty breeds connection and connection unlocks service. Imagine how this would play out in the leadership functions of communication, directing, and teamwork, and the difference that would make in your organisation.
2. Great leaders allow themselves to be influenced by others.
None of us are an island, and every single one of us needs others in our lives. We all have knowledge or skill gaps and need teaching, training, coaching or mentoring. When we are teachable, people see – they see a humility that is approachable and comforting. Would you want to follow someone who knows it all? When we are leading and living as if we are open to influence from others, people will notice.
3. Great leaders understand the power of their internal world.
Leadership roles and responsibilities are a sobering mirror that expose our heart. Our insecurities will manifest in subtle and not so subtle ways. We are exposed, and the people around us will see us in a new light, and they might not like what they see. So it is imperative that we identify and resolve any insecurity or unhealthy patterns of thinking. If we fail to do so, what is in us will come out of us – and more people will notice than we care to believe! If some of our pain and fear is evident, our leadership credibility will be undermined in the eyes of those we are leading. Examples of unhealthy thinking that will erode our leadership effectiveness include independence, rebellion, fear of peoples opinions, passivity, jealousy, competitiveness, comparison, fear of failure, fear of risk, control, manipulation, blame-shifting, and perfectionism. Whilst this isn’t an exhaustive list, it is interesting to note that these are internal attitudes. The change has to start with us changing the way we think.
What other attitudes do you think great leaders have? Let me know in the comments below.
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