Defining Leadership

By Ann
May 8, 2006
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Have you stopped lately to consider the characteristics of leaders? We hear "she's a real leader" or "he gives this company the leadership it needs." What is leadership?

Everyone reading this has a unique definition of leadership. In my work with business leaders, I concluded leaders have these traits in good measure:

--VISION: believing in possibilities. No matter what the circumstances things can be improved and operate at a higher level. Extraordinary leaders rarely say "If it ain't broke don't fix it." A significant amount of energy can be expended to maintain the current circumstances at all costs. Exceptional leaders are willing (and perhaps this is the operative word) to change something because they know anything can be improved....anything at all can be improved. No matter how successful a company is, it can be MORE than it currently is. Leaders are always asking, "How can we make this better."

--INTEGRITY: being true to their word. You can count on them. They follow through and live up to their commitments,large and small. Leaders are trustworthy and create an environment with a high level of trust. They tell the truth. Without casting blame, they create a culture of high accountability.

--POTENTIAL: looking for ways to remove obstacles so others can succeed. They find ways for others to use their strengths. Leaders create learning environments. They look for avenues to encourage and edify the people around them. Leaders are continuous learners and support others to do the same in all facets of their life.

The intricate dance of Vision, Integrity, and Potential is a laboratory for improving not only personally but professionally. Leadership focuses on getting better not being perfect.

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