There are lessons to take from every situation, and that includes the difficult ones, not just the good ones.
Leadership is one of those topics people like to discuss but never directly address.
People also mistake those in positions of power as leaders. They can be and sometimes are, but someone with a title is not necessarily a leader.
Perhaps former President Richard Nixon summed up leadership best when he wrote in his 1982 book Leaders, “Great leadership is a unique form of art, requiring both force and vision to an extraordinary degree.”
Despite the headline, I don’t intend to criticize a bad boss I once had; I hope it made you click on this post. However, I have found a few attributes in the best leaders I’ve ever met.
The first is honesty.
Some people think little white lies are more comfortable to tell than the truth. But that is just a temporary fix. At some point, you must confront whatever issue prompted you to lie, and that situation will likely be less comfortable than the one that inspired the first mistruth.
But, it is not just about telling the truth to those around you. A strong leader is honest with himself or herself. They look inward and recognize if they are the cause of the problem.
The second is a vision.
In the daily grind, it is easy to look past the real objective and accomplish what many might qualify as “low-hanging fruit,”
Last, but least, have courage.
One reason people dislike politicians is that they have no courage. They regularly change their positions based on what the masses think.
Many business “leaders” take a similar approach. Real leaders do not.
That is not to say they will never change the vision.
A real leader is willing to put a “stake in the ground” and work toward accomplishing the goal, even if it takes a bit of elbow grease. Such a leader is willing to roll up his or her proverbial sleeves and work to execute the vision.