Compassion , Vision and Opportunity
Leadership has been known to possess many faces and in countless interactions. Through the sands of time those who acted in leadership have been seen mainly in politics, corporations, even in our households.
When I retired from corporate America 10 years ago I was not aware my leadership skills would be forced into high gear. Within three months I was managing a sales team of 75 people through the US and organizing my own weekly conferences. I was terrified as I found myself in unchartered territory, but it was imperative that I find that leader within to attain success.
At times, some of us have grown accustomed to viewing our leaders as unapproachable, egotistical and arrogant. I am guilty of this, as leadership is a trait that requires life experience. I didn’t have much of it at the time, and there always room for improvement.
This acceptance has been experienced by many and has lead to a new understanding of leadership. As we quickly move into a new era and become leaders ourselves, the following qualities have become very apparent in our workplace.
Compassion – Compassionate leaders practice listening intently to the needs of others. They teach but not preach, motivate and not press the issue. When a leader shows compassion they have the ability to provide direction, implementing plans and empowering people. A leader with compassion lives empathetically, and would not ask from employees that which he or she wouldn’t do.
Thoughtfulness – Thoughtful leaders are not weakened by experiences but emotionally strengthened from them. They possess the patience to contemplate responses before reacting, which is a trait that requires practice.
Connectedness – A leader can look within and joyfully analyze the relationships that peers and coworkers share, without the threat of judgment. Staying involved and “present” without making hasty decisions with and for one’s team is part of a personal, connectedness style.
Empowerment Within – The basis of leadership is not without struggle. Those who lead from inner strength are not weathered by any storm. Leaders help their team believe in their own ability to feel confident, find solutions on their own and create favorable results. Empowering others involves sharing positive feedback or to be a guide in any challenges they face.
A Clear Vision – I had many thoughts about this upon hiring my first associate. I was quite young and fairly early in my career. There was much to learn, but what took most precedence on my list of leadership qualities is conveying that I wholeheartedly believed in them. Setting clear and realistic expectations and deadlines were crucial to effective communication and desired results.
Accountability – Leaders have the innate power to leave their ego at the door and take full ownership of their setbacks as well as their accomplishments. Those who lead with accountability can see beyond the “right and wrong,” and learn to fully accept their mistakes with poise and humility. Each decision can either bring a leader closer to positive results, or away from them; the choice is whether the leader can take responsibility, whatever the stakes.
Authenticity – A powerful leader believes in leading by example, encouraging others to develop their own authentic leadership style. It is not enough for a leader to expect others to be forthright in their thinking. Authenticity derives from the core; the true Self. Leading authentically and living a balanced and fulfilled life enables employees to bring forthwith their strongest, most authentic self each and every day—both personally and professionally.
With leadership qualities such as compassion , vision and opportunity there emerges confidence and overall success. The foundation of a strong team then allows one to be a true leader, executing tough decisions and powerful results for the organization.