I’ve written many posts on leadership. As we witness the peaceful transfer of power in the Office of the President, it seems fitting to reflect again on leadership and what we should expect of leaders.
When I think of critical leadership qualities at the executive level, I think of vision, integrity, presence, communication, and authenticity. If you look at position descriptions for executive level leaders in business, you will see all of these and more.
I’ve talked in the past about the core principles and values I share with my staff when starting a new leadership position. In that early period, I want my team to get to know me and to understand what’s important to me. I want them to hold me accountable for living these values every day in every situation. And I also expect everyone on my team to live them as we work together.
Here they are again, with a more generic description that can fit any leadership position:
- Teamwork – the leader must set a tone in all their words and actions that people are expected to respect one another and work collaboratively toward common goals in the best interest of all.
- Transparency – the leader must practice open, honest, and proactive communication and expect that from others.
- Customer service – the leader must remember who they are ultimately serving and have that guide their decisions.
- Accountability – the leader must be accountable, take ownership and deliver on their commitments.
- Innovation – the leader must create an environment where people are encouraged to be creative and bold in their thinking.
- Continuous improvement – the leader must encourage change and not allow the status quo to be the norm if it no longer works.
- Results focus – the leader must focus on end results with appropriate respect for the rules and processes.
You should expect no less of your leaders. You should expect all this and far more.