If there are two things which are inseparable, it is leadership and character.
Without good character, you can fail to be a leader that others may look forward to. According to philosophers Al Gini and Ronald Green in the book, Ten Virtues of Outstanding Leaders, they have defined good leadership based on three traits. These three traits that make the bulk of leadership are character, ethics & virtue.
To them, they are essential traits that every leader should possess. If these three traits aren’t present in an individual, then according to the Al Gini & Ronald, they are not leaders but someone trying to be.
The book defines leadership as,
“Leadership is not just a set of learned skills, a series of outcomes, a career, a profession, or a title. Leadership, at its core, is about character: specifically, a character attuned to its ethical responsibilities to others. The kind of character that, in regard to others, always tries to do the right thing, for the right reason, on purpose.”
What are these virtues that make a leader become a true leader among his employees or the organizational setting in which he or she works? Let’s learn five of these important virtues of a strong leader.
Strong Leaders are Driven by Values
We live in a capitalist culture where everything has a definition based on money. Owning a fast car, living in a big house, getting big paychecks, these are some of the symbols commonly associated with success. If you don’t have the following, there’s a high chance that you are measured as unsuccessful. There is no doubt that money is the greatest motivation of modern society, but money can only be a motivation. What actually does make us move and compels us to take action is the values we define for ourselves.
For a leader, the values that define leadership are authenticity, courage, compassion & humility. It’s because of these values, a leader becomes a great motivator for others and instigate these values in them. For example, Steve Jobs was probably admired for his philanthropy rather than his urge to work.
Strong Leaders Inspire Others to Take Steps
What did Martin Luther King do that other black Americans greatly failed to achieve? What did Steve Jobs do that other tech enthusiast of his time were unable to do? And what is Elon Musk doing…
All of these people had the courage to dream.
As Martin Luther King Jr. once said,
“that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood”
Here’s a dream that inspired millions of Black Americans. Similarly, many leaders have dreamt.
Leaders have the ability to dream big but what they don’t do is have self-centred dreams. They dream with a common vision, a vision that many others can share and work together to turn into a reality.
It’s one of the strongest virtues that make the bulk of a leader’s foundation.
Strong Leaders are Emotionally Intelligent
Another great virtue of a true leader is that they are compassionate.
They have a tendency to care about others. It is an innate ability which allows them to address their own emotions and the feelings of people with whom they are working. It’s this ability to understanding emotions what makes a leader a successful one. Emotionally Intelligent leaders have a high emotional quotient. They are aware when an employee deserves praise and when they are to be shunned; when they are expecting positive/negative feedback; when you should apologize to them when you should forgive them, when to assist them with their needs and when to protect them.
Strong Leaders Holds Accountability
What kind of a captain is truly a captain if he jumps overboard when his ship is about to get stuck in a lightning storm? If you ask me, I would like to title such a captain as a coward one.
Whether it’s the fault of the crew member or himself/herself, a captain of the ship is, after all, the captain. Whatever error takes place under his command, it is his/her responsibility to take the ownership. A strong leader will always make himself accountable for everything happening within his/her team. They are tasked with the responsibility of identifying the problems and fixing them.
The well-being of his subordinates is just as important for a strong leader just as much as his own.
Strong Leaders Carve the Path for Others
There is a tendency among many leaders who want to raise the flag of success over their own heads. For them, shining their own name is more important than addressing those who worked at the back-end. They always take the centre-stage but take a step back when the team faces problems.
Such leaders are once again, the weakest examples.
To be a strong leader, you should carve the path for others. Create a platform for your subordinates so they can equally stand beside you and shine out in their own way. Besides, what makes a strong leader much stronger is to let subordinates take the centre stage and appreciate them from the backstage. Such leaders are like the cherishers, they are pure nourishment for their subordinates.
Believe it or not, these people inclined to work more loyally and for the long term than those who don’t.
To develop virtues is an important trait which ensures that a leader is set on the right path of success. If a person doesn’t possess his virtues, he fails to be authentic and incredibly fails to be more original. People who escape their originality often befall the great tragedy of failure and it comes unexpectedly.
Do you possess the virtues which a strong leader possess? Let us know in the comments.