7 Basic Things Every Great Leader Should Know

To rediscover great leadership, we must return to the basics of leading.

In a recent survey, only 3 percent said they have confidence in corporate executives.

The news was equally dismal for others: 3 percent reported having confidence in government officials, 5 percent in reporters and journalists, 8 percent in small business owners, and only 11 percent in ministers and clergy.

These results show, among other things, how hard it can be to find the leader who can be credible, courageous, trustworthy, ethical, and transparent.

But we all know great leadership is possible —because we ourselves want it.

Here are some basic ways we can be the example of what it looks like.

1. Do what you say you will do. Too many leaders just do whatever they can get away with. Be credible.

2. Do what’s right, not what’s easy. This one can be hard; doing what is right is rarely easy. And many times leaders choose the wrong path. Be courageous

3. Take responsibility for your actions. Stop making excuses for your decisions and rationalizing your choices. The more excuses they hear from you, the less people will trust you. Be trustworthy.

4. Stand by your convictions. Some leaders believe that high standards limit their opportunities. Everyone has their own level, but you cannot be a leader people admire if you don’t have strong convictions. Know what you value and believe.

5. Find clarity in transparency. For some the idea of transparency in leadership may be disruptive, but to be unrestricted and open ensures that those you lead are open and unrestricted with you. Today’s power is gained by sharing knowledge not by hoarding it. Be transparent.

6. Maintain scrupulous honesty. Leaders need to be honest with themselves and others. They need to understand what they can do what they cannot do and consider what they can do better. It is better to be realistic about who you are then have someone call you out on your pretense. Be honest.

7. Value character above perfection. It is often said that character is the cornerstone of leadership, the thing that sets people apart as leaders. Be righteous.

We can always look at others and complain that they don’t have what we want in a leader—but the answer lies not with others but in each one of us.

We can be the answer to the call for leadership.

We can be the example that people want to see.

We can be the leaders that others trust and admire.

Lead from within: When we get back to the basics, we can always begin again to make it right.



N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now


Additional Reading you might enjoy:


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

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 has become a national bestseller.


    22. Dec, 2015

    yes thinks for all this informations.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Mercury

    27. Dec, 2015

    “Do what you say you will do.”

    Hah, I’m pretty sure every politician ever has done the complete opposite of this!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Nils

    28. Dec, 2015

    Great article to kick off 2016.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Imran Ali Rathore

    04. Jan, 2016

    100% true! Proactive approach!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Katharine Di Cerbo

    06. Jan, 2016

    Hi Lolly,

    I loved this post. I don’t work with leaders in particular, but what attracted me to your list is that it’s great advice for anyone to follow. Integrity and principles make you feel great and make other people more inclined to support you – whether you are formally leading them or just want to collaborate.

    Thanks again, I’ll be sharing this.

    Reply to this comment
    • Paul Haury

      08. May, 2016

      Hi Katharine, Yeah, these aren’t just for leaders do. Anyone who does these is worthy of being followed. Great post Lolly .

      Reply to this comment
  6. google drive login

    30. Sep, 2016

    I like your amazing post.thanks for share this with us.
    Good and full of knowledge.

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply