We’ve suffered far too much bad leadership in recent years. Many who call themselves leaders and hold leadership positions have conducted themselves like people who can’t find their own way, let alone lead others.
That’s why we are looking for a kind of leader—one we can respect, one we trust and want to follow.
The kind of leadership we’re looking for, like all great leadership, is grounded in character. But how do leaders use that character to navigate through situations and circumstances?
They follow their North Star.
Just as it did for long-ago navigators, the North Star guides them through rough terrain and dark nights. The leader who knows their North Star knows where they are going, how they will get there and what they need along the way.
To find your North Star, start here:
Identify your moral inner compass. Your values are the chief guide of your leadership—the moral compass that will help you keep steering toward the things that matter. Without it, it’s easy to drift off course, but when you are centered in your moral inner compass you can translate pressure into success and success into meaning.
Understand that you may wander off the path. Sometimes leaders get pulled off course into thinking that power is more important than people or that profit is more important than mission. This kind of thinking is a sure indicator that they’re losing their way—probably as a result of fear or insecurity. If you begin to feel lost, don’t despair but lock back onto your North Star and find your way back.
Know your whole self. As a leader and a person, you need to know not only your sweet spots and strengths but also your blind spots and weaknesses. Own all of who you are. Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.
Stay grounded by acting on character. Character is the heart of every valid leadership navigation system. To lack character is to lack the capacity to lead, and capacity without character is dangerous. Your character is defined by your own moral and mental attitude. What makes you feel connected to your true self? When you know who you are, people can trust you.
Act like a good follower to be a great leader. Many people think that being a leader means constantly fixing, supporting and coaching, but the true essence of a great leader lies in stepping back and listening, understanding, learning. You cannot be a leader and ask other people to follow you unless you know how to follow too. As a follower and a leader, be strong and kind, bold and proud.
Lead from within: It’s in learning how to navigate that you will find your own North Star to help you, guide you, support you and teach you what it means to be a great leader.
Learn more about your leadership in my National Bestseller book:
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.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- The Remarkable Power of the Truth Teller
- The Test Every Great Leader Must Pass
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
- It’s True You Can’t Do It All
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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.