What makes someone a leader largely depends on individual perception. Similar to political elections in America, everyone has a unique idea of what leaders should do, how they should act, and how their behavior inspires action and commitment.
What follows are my thoughts on the qualities of leadership.
Understanding empathy and EQ – emotional quotient, a.k.a. emotional intelligence – is vital to your development as a leader.
Sincerely understanding the challenges and struggles of employees or colleagues separates managers from leaders. It’s not about seeking compromise or majority rule; rather, it’s about allowing introspection, informed evaluation, and, at times, opinions of those working with you – especially those closest to your clients.
It’s not the same as EQ, but it pairs well with the process. Realizing “life happens” and no one shows up perfect, allows grace to help measure what our heart knows should be done.
Realizing that your answer may not be the right answer comma and being open to other possibilities comma is key in leadership.
That doesn’t mean everyone’s opinions outweigh yours. Each opinion and each thought should be taken into consideration and balanced with the evidence in front of you so that you can come to a solid decision.
Deciding To Decide
The two biggest reasons that hold some leaders back are either too quick or rash of a decision, or no decision is made.
If you make a decision too quickly, you may not have given thought to all the information necessary to come to that conclusion. You may have decided not to look at some information comma just to move the thought forward. That can hurt more than help.
On the flip side, sometimes you can take in too much information and not be able to come to a decision at all. You probably know some people who do this: a decision has to be made, say, about wallpaper, and the person winds up calling and asking about 50 people which wallpaper to pick. You end up with 50 opinions, and you’re still not able to move forward. This “analysis paralysis” can stall leadership development faster than making a rash decision.
No one should be so wrapped up in critical thinking that they succumb to a different form of “analysis paralysis”. Take into account what is necessary, pit these options against the desired outcomes, and commit to what needs getting done.
Sometimes folks need a little nudge toward their goals. They may need more confidence, some validation, or just an acknowledgment their ideas were heard. Offer direction, give support when needed, and trust your people to get the job done. It’s not about you – it’s about helping them.
If you choose to apply these facets, you choose to step up to leadership.
Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.
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