The ones that extend themselves to keep promises, act ethically, lead by example, show fairness, act out of humility, show confidence, and demonstrate trust.
They are the people we count on. They are the ones we want to follow without being told.
Here are some ways that these true leaders go about their work and lives. Ask yourself which of these things you’re already doing and which you need to work on:
A leader worth following leads with ethics. True leaders are proof you can do well by doing right. Their ethics are not conveniently molded to fit a particular situation but indelibly etched in their very being, as natural impulses that never go stale or out of style.
A leader worth following leads by example. True leaders don’t expect others to do anything they aren’t willing to do themselves. Their leadership comes from their actions, not simply their words. They hold themselves equally responsible as those they are leading.
A leader worth following leads with fairness. True leaders treat everyone fairly.It’s a necessity.They understand that fairness is the ability to rise above their own prejudices and treat everyone equally.
A leader worth following leads with humility. True leaders know that humility is concerned with what is right, that it leads to strength and not to weakness—that it is the equilibrium of power. It is the highest form of self-respect to lead from the stance of humility.
A leader worth following leads brings out the best in others. True leaders guide and support others in their success, ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are meant to do, and doing it with excellence.
A leader worthy of following kindles within others a desire to excel simply by believing in them—bringing out the best in them and building their confidence in return.
A leader worth following leads with trust. True leaders are competent and reliable and consistent, and in return they get people who are loyal and show them great respect. They lead with trust, not power or control.
A leader worth following leads with confidence. True leaders have great confidence and courage. They look fear in the face and defy it, they know that wherever their heart is, there lies their confidence.
Most of all, a leader worth following embraces the concept that leadership is, above all, a privilege and recognizes that the things they think, say, and do have a significant impact on those around them.
Lead From Within: Leadership is a privilege, and making yourself worthy of being followed comes with great responsibility. It means you can inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, be more. Being the leader matters most if the position is taken seriously and is used to make a difference.
© 2014 Lolly Daskal. All rights reserved.
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness is being released by Portfolio May 2017.