Five qualities of a lasting leader
Leadership isn’t just something you do, it’s someone you become. But that requires a personal transformation, not just a personal agenda. Roger hadn’t learned that lesson. During an interview for a new leadership position, the hiring manager asked why he switched jobs, and sometimes companies, every three to five years.
Roger blamed the employees who stopped growing and doubted ownership’s commitment to the goal they asked him to reach. In other words, it had to be the environment because Roger was a “good” manager. Roger was half right – it was the environment. But he failed to recognize that he was responsible for creating that situation.
Lasting leaders, those who can weather economic downturns and even seismic market shifts in their employees or customers, are the ones who know how to assemble a diverse team and bring out their very best. If you’re not building relationships that will last with your associates, even your financial success will be short-lived.
If we want to understand what really defines leaders then we have to start by looking at their followers. The old motivational tricks no longer work. Employees have become jaded from broken promises and failed dreams.
Today, followers are drawn to leaders who show openness, invest time, listen, encourage and show appreciation for the strengths their employees bring to work. These are qualities that are developed intentionally over time but they pay dividends in both financial and personal performance for a lifetime.
Leaders who are held in the highest esteem for their success on both the bottom line and with the people they lead epitomize these 5 qualities. From their followers you will hear phrases like these: “he was always there for me,” “I felt like she really listened,” “he valued my opinion,” and the result is employee engagement at the highest level. These qualities are gifts that a lasting leader is willing to give freely to the people they lead.
The Gift of Being Open to Others. Every leader claims to have an open-door policy. But it’s not a leader’s door that needs to be open – it’s an open mind that matters! Openness encourages employee engagement, and that is fundamental to business success. The Gallup Organization’s study of employee engagement in 7,939 business units in 36 different companies found that “employee engagement was positively associated with performance…”
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