You’ve heard the old saying, are leaders born or made? My answer is yes!
Leadership is sometimes a complex proposition, but it doesn’t have to be. Following is my top ten list of qualities and attributes for successful and effective leadership.
- Competitive Spirit – When you lose, get up and try again.
- Laugh Often – Be serious about your responsibility, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Keeping the mood light when times get tough is important. Showing a sense of humor and laughing at yourself once in a while draws people to you, not away from you.
- Persuasive – Inspire and encourage others.
- Decisive – Make decisions and accept responsibility for those decisions.
- Visionary – Be forward thinking.
- Balance – Work is important; life is more important.
- Vulnerability – When you show your vulnerability, people are drawn to you. They will help you. They will open up to you. Your relationships will become deeper.
- Humility – Be honest about your weaknesses.
- Servant Leadership – I believe that servant leaders are committed to serving others – they invest in helping others achieve their potential. Servant leaders are also collaborative. They are builders of community. Servant leaders build relationships; they are constantly striving to make a difference.
- Integrity – It all starts and ends with integrity. Enough said.
Do your associates enjoy their jobs? Do they love their work? Do they find you easy to work for; and, will that lead to their job satisfaction?
Besides my Top Ten List, I believe successful and effective leaders:
- Are Nice – Too many leaders are jerks. They let power go to their heads. Be nice. Smile. Say please and thank you. Ask people how their day is going; be genuine.
- Give people your attention – Many people like to say they have an open door policy, but is that really the case? Give your associates a few minutes of your time. Do your colleagues open up to you? Giving them the gift of your time and attention demonstrates the respect, value and care you have for them.
- Ask for and implement your associates’ ideas – Many leaders are great at asking for ideas; but, how many actually implement them? You instantly lose credibility with your colleagues when you tell them you want their ideas and feedback and then ignore what they choose to share with you.
Bottom line, I believe that effective and successful leaders lead by influence and not by authority. They have the courage to always do what is right.
It was Gandhi who said, “Make your life a message.” My challenge to you is to live your life with purpose, on purpose.
Jim Anderson led the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce as president for 26 years. In 2014, he joined CoxHealth as Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs. In his role, Anderson oversees marketing, corporate communication, public affairs, and advocacy for this almost 11,000 employee organization. Jim has enjoyed a long career in the Ozarks, where he has built strong relationships with civic, business and governmental leaders.
This article appeared in the August 20, 2017 edition of the News-Leader and can be accessed online here