6 Patterns of Great Leaders

Today’s post is an excerpt from an article I read some time ago. If you’d like to read the entire original article, there’s a link at the bottom.

Up Close and Personal1. They Change Their Minds

One of the most courageous things a leader can do is admit when he or she is wrong, and admit it often.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said that the late Apple founder Steve Jobs was a notorious, but deliberate, flip-flopper. “I saw it daily,” Cook said in an interview with AllThingsD. “This is a gift, because things do change, and it takes courage to change. It takes courage to say, ‘I was wrong.’”

On the flip side, poor leaders dig in their heels when they’re wrong. They’d rather assert authority than admit a mistake. But owning up to one’s faults is a greater sign of strength than the ability to stand one’s ground.

2. They Absorb Shock

Historically, leaders were given special status and privilege because they were the first to face danger, the first to battle; they shielded the group from harm. Great leaders today still do that. They absorb risk unto themselves, so others can do their best work.

As John Maxwell says, “A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.”

3. They Overcommunicate

The best leaders confide in their followers. Whereas they shield people from danger, they also aren’t afraid to trust people with all the information. In general, people are more afraid of the unknown than they are of big scary problems.

“One of the best things a leader can do is learn to be vulnerable,” says Charlie Kim. “It’s what actually inspires other people, because they say, ‘This person has the same problems I have, and even worse. They had all these issues and despite all that they were able to survive, succeed.’ It drives you to do more.”

4. They Search For The Right Path; Not The Easy One

Bad leaders take the easy way out. They don’t tend to lead very long. Great leaders seek to do what’s right first, then figure out how to deal with the repercussions, rather than seeking to minimize pain and twisting their morals to suit.

This sounds like the obvious thing to do, and it is. But where a lot of great leaders differ from mediocre leaders with good intentions is in the ability to do the right thing when that thing stings someone else. Letting go of an employee who needs to go—even though you like them personally—takes courage. Delivering bad news to someone, correcting their actions or attitudes, can be uncomfortable, and it’s tempting as a leader to let things slide in the name of goodwill. But like a mom or dad who lets his or her kids run wild without parental correction, leaders who take the emotionally easy route often create environments that in the long run come back to bite them and their kids.

5. They Have Sacred Time For Themselves

The best leaders know that they need time for self-improvement and balance in order to be sustainably useful to their tribes. Rather than becoming martyrs for their teams, they draw firm lines around sacred alone time.

6. But They’re In It For Others

Though the most effective leaders carve out sacred time for themselves, the best of the best do so because they are motivated by the desire to help other people. Indeed, the greatest leaders are the ones everyone wants to follow, and those are the ones who care about others more than self, who lead with a higher purpose.

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it,” said Andrew Carnegie.

Interested in reading the full article? Click Here

Posted by Andrew Pino

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