The Lesson: Titles don’t define a leader….integrity and character do. Your actions matter.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” -John Quincy Adams
Are you leading with integrity? With character? I’ve known a lot of so-called leaders who didn’t have integrity and most certainly didn’t lead from a place of integrity and honesty. They may have had the title, but they certainly weren’t leaders. Their people didn’t trust them. They did not instill confidence in others. They forgot that leadership is about something bigger than them. In tough times, their true character came through.
Inspire greatness in others by making sure you are consistent with who you are – talk the talk, but also walk the walk. Because in the end, it’s not about what you say – it’s about what you do. Be the type of leader that shines not just during the good times, but in times of controversy and challenges. Never waiver from your values and your integrity. Keep your word. Do what you say you will do. It’s not just your words that matter, it’s your actions.
So what ACTIONS define a great leader?
1. Great leaders stay true to their own values. They act with integrity. They do the right thing, even if it’s not easy, even if it’s not the popular thing, even if it’s a hard conversation. By doing so, they garner much more respect from those they lead. They lead by example.
2. Great leaders realize the importance of open and honest dialogue, showing compassion, and being courageous enough to show their own flaws and failures. They admit when they are wrong and own up to their mistakes. They are willing to have the tough conversations but do so with compassion and humility.
3. Great leaders focus on creating a better workplace environment. They are solution-driven but realize the solution doesn’t always have to come from them. They realize that their people add value and that creativity without judgment is a key to success. They value people, not just numbers. They give credit where credit is due.
4. Great leaders are willing to take risks. They take action. They don’t let fear stop them. They realize they don’t have all the answers and are willing to ask for help. They see asking for help as a sign of strength, not weakness. They see failures as opportunities to learn, to grow, to try again. They don’t quit. They get back up. They grit up, they don’t give up.
People will not only notice great leaders, they will follow them with enthusiasm. That is leadership. It’s so much more than a title – it actually has nothing to do with a title – but rather the impact and influence you have on the organization, systems, and people you are leading through your ACTIONS.
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Kim Becking is a keynote motivational speaker; change, communication and leadership expert; and success coach who helps individuals and organizations create momentum in their work and life to get massive results.