Leadership starts with a loyalty quadrant: loyalty to one’s organization and its mission; loyalty to organizational superiors; loyalty to subordinates and loyalty to oneself. Loyalty is multi-directional, running upwards and downwards in the organization. When everyone practices it, “loyalty bonds” occur which drive high morale. Loyalty to oneself is based on maintaining a sound body, mind and spirit so one is always “riding the top of the wave” in service to others.
Leaders know that excellence is a value, not an object. They strive for both excellence and success. Excellence is the measurement you make of yourself in assessing what you do and how well you do it. Success is an external perception that others have of you.
Leaders are dedicated in mind, body and spirit to their organization and to achievement. They are action-oriented, not passive, and prefer purposeful activity to the status quo. They possess an aura or charisma that sets them apart from others with whom they interact,
always working in the best interests of their organization.5. Enthusiasm
Leaders are their own best cheerleaders on behalf of their organization and their people. They exude enthusiasm and instill it in others to the point of contagion. Their style may be one of poise, stability, clear vision and articulate speech, but their bristling enthusiasm underscores their every waking moment.6. Risk Management
Leaders realize that risk taking is part of their management perch. They manage risk rather than letting it manage them, knowing full well there are no guaranteed outcomes, no foregone conclusions, no pre-ordained results when one is dealing with the future. Nonetheless, they measure risk, adapt to it, control it and surmount it.7. Strength
Leaders possess an inner fiber of stamina, fortitude and vibrancy that gives them a mental toughness, causing them to withstand interruption, crises and unforeseen circumstances that would slow down or immobilize most people. Leaders become all the more energized in the face of surprises.
Leaders understand they will leave a legacy, be it good, bad or indifferent. True leaders recognize that all their relationships and actions are based on the highest standards of honor and integrity. They do the right things correctly, shun short-term improper expediency and set the example for others with high-mindedness, professional bearing and unassailable character.
Leaders don’t exist without followers. People will follow leaders who inspire them to reach beyond the normal and ordinary to new levels of accomplishment, new heights of well-being and new platforms for individual, organizational and societal good. Inspiration is what
distinguishes a leader from a mere position holder, as the leader can touch the heart, mind and soul of others.
At the end of the day, leader/managers rise or fall on the most critical of all measurements – their performance. Results come first, but the way in which results are achieved is also crucial to sustaining a leader’s role. Many “dictators” don’t last despite results and many “charismatics” don’t last despite personal charm.