~by Brooke Chaplan~
Leaders today, whether in school systems, politics or business, all seem to share a certain amount of common traits and habits. By exploring a few of these habits here, you may be able to spot the leaders you’re surrounded by, the traits you share, and the ones you can still work to develop.
1. Displaying a Vision
Good leaders not only have a vision for the future, they also help others see and understand the vision so they can work effectively in the right direction. This is something learned from other mentors and is passed down from department to department effectively.
No one is a born leader. Some, as the late comedian Robin Williams noted, receive it as a graduation present. No baby comes into the world with a sense of how to help others achieve great things. They have mentors. These can include teachers, parents and business leaders, and usually all three. After taking on the traits and habits of their mentors, they inspire others to want their mentorship.
3. Inspire Protégés
Leaders don’t have to hold a particular rank to be followed. A great example would be that of Medal of Honor recipient, Dakota Meyer. Dakota Meyer was a lance corporal when he displayed incredible heroism in the War on Terror, which means he was among the very lowest ranks in the Marine Corps. However, because of his core values and proven ability to lead, it would not be surprising for officers to ask his advice on important matters. He was able to lead and inspire others to the greatness he achieved.
4. Adherence to Core Values
Staying with the example of Sergeant Meyer, the events that led to his Medal of Honor also involved him being told to stand down when his fellow marines were in trouble. He disobeyed the direct order of an officer, a potentially career-ending/life-ending decision, so that he could save the lives of those who needed him.
In business, it’s not usually life or death, but what about safety matters? What about overseas manufacturing laws? A leader will pay more to adhere to his or her core values than perhaps the money they stand to make.
5. Structure in the Work They Do
Leaders create a system to work by. This creates structure for themselves, their subordinates, and the company as a whole. This is something that will allow their vision and core values to work, but on a daily basis. Leaders have a kind of organization and skill to structure their day and events. For example, in an online master’s in education program, new teachers will learn how to lead by structure and organization in the classroom. This helps them to be effective, pass on their vision, and lead their students to success.
6. Smart Subordinates
Insecure people tend to be intimidated by those who are smarter. Leaders love having smart people on their team because they can leverage their abilities. Additionally, they can grow the company together, which will lead to more profitability and even more money. As a rule, leaders seek out the best and brightest, and often serve as the example.
Leaders are people who are able to organize and inspire. They take others under their wing, share knowledge and cooperate to get things done. The habits outlined above can help to get you on track and better develop your own leadership skills.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.