My reflections on traits from some of the greats on what makes an authentic leader so inspiring!
I was reflecting today on some of the leaders I have had the privilege of working with or for, who showed me about the leader I aspire to be and perhaps some who showed me the leader I would rather not be. Those leaders will forever have a place in your heart and whose impact on you and your career has been lasting. The ones whose voice you can hear addressing a problematic situation with integrity or acknowledging good work with authenticity. Those we aspire to be like, and whose influence on us and our leadership style is palpable.
The common trait in those that inspired was their belief in those they lead, their ability to recognise a skill, a strength or a natural talent and to allow it to shine, to nurture, grow and evolve.
They were authentic, the genuine article, a real human being not an act or a façade. They should celebrate their own flaws and take responsibility for any failures they make but at the same time be confident enough to embrace each lesson learned as part of the journey to becoming better leaders
The most inspiring leaders I have met have a genuine interest in people and in learning more about them. They have the confidence to understand they are not great at everything and the strength of character to recruit a team around them skilled in the areas they are not. I learned a long time ago to hire people experienced in areas where you need to develop and who need to build in areas where you are skilled, that way the sum of the parts is greater than the individual elements. You all end up stronger, and together you can achieve so much more.
Sometimes the greatest gift you can give is to believe in someone and give them the confidence to believe in themselves.
We have all had those moments of self-doubt where we don’t feel good enough. Having your leader believe in you and give you the courage to believe in their faith in you is priceless.
For those who have done this for me, I am forever grateful, and I will keep trying to pass that gift on to others.
Below are my top seven traits that make a leader inspire me.