What really makes a leader? This might come as a surprise...

Date: 12-16-2010

Here's one of the 'secrets' on what it really takes to be a leader! This is applicable across any organisation, whether it’s in a blue chip multinational organisation, an owner-managed small business, a government department or agency, a local authority or even a not-for-profit organisation.

Some people are natural born leaders just as some people are natural musicians, artists or athletes but true leadership is shaped, refined and developed on an ongoing basis even for those people who find that they are naturally gifted with leadership characteristics from an early age.  During my career progression as a professional management consultant with an international client base I have had the honour and privilege of meeting leaders across many organisations and here’s one of the common traits evident in particularly effective leaders that I have met might surprise you.... HUMILITY!

 Humility emerged as one of the key characteristics amongst many of the effective leaders that I have met during the course of my career.  Humility can be characterised by a number of component attributes which include: 

  • a desire to serve others;
  • a self-depreciating sense of humour;
  • being prepared to learn from others;
  • willingness to admit mistakes and implement the suggestions of others where there is merit in doing so;
  • ensuring that credit is given where credit is due;
  • celebrating the success of others and not wanting to “hog the limelight”;
  • demonstrating a sense of empathy towards others;
  • listening to their concerns and showing sensitivity to their needs and feelings.

These are only a few of the attributes and behaviours demonstrated by individuals who are considered to be the most effective leaders in their organisations by both the hierarchy and by people at all levels.

If humility in a leader is something that you’re struggling to come to terms with think of someone who you have worked for or reported to during the course of your career progression to date that you particularly admire, respect and would “go the extra mile for”.  Did or do they display the above typical attributes of humility?  Enough said!

 Effective leaders are characterised by the attributes and behaviours they display on a consistent basis and whilst humility is one.  We have included the other key behaviours in the TOP 5 TIPS for surviving and thriving in the current challenging economic climate that can be accessed as a downloadable podcast for FREE at www.the-academy.co