Copyright © 2016 Eden Edutech Consulting
Leadership is not a destination. Once you get the role or title it doesn’t stop there. In fact that is where real leadership begins. Your leadership journey is a personal thing as individual and unique as you are. You need to know what you value, be brave enough to acknowledge it and then find a way to live it. In my life I’ve been lucky to have been around some really great leaders; some I’ve worked for, some have been my friends and others I have had the honour of meeting. What I have come to understand is that there are certain qualities that these people have that don’t just make them good leaders but great ones.
The first of these is courage.
There are times as a leader when you have to stand alone, often in the face of adversity and sometimes against your peers and even friends. Sometimes as a leader you have to stand at the very front. Be the one willing to make the first move, take the first step or stand up for everyone else. At other times as a leader you have to stand at the very back, to let others lead or to empower others to lead and recognise their potential. Courageous Leadership is knowing where to stand.
The second quality is humility.
As a leader you need to know yourself well and recognise that you are both big and small. Small in comparison to the big wide world and big in comparison with petty fears, self doubt and insecurity. Knowing others is important too – having insight, listening and hearing (two different things) and being able to see things from all points of view. Humble Leadership is a door to wisdom.
Next comes integrity.
As a leader you need to know what is right and then act on it. Knowing what is right comes from a clear set of values, self belief and listening to your inner voice. You need to say what you mean and do what you say. Integrity brings respect, trust, loyalty and commitment.
The fourth quality is humour.
As a leader humour is really important as it can put the difficult and complex into perspective. It helps you to survive to live and fight another day. Humour makes things fun for you and those that are around you. Don’t be afraid to find humour and even have a laugh at yourself. “A smile is the curve that puts everything straight”.
Lastly we have compassion.
Compassionate leadership is the balance between IQ and EQ and as women we know these well. Remember that leadership needs to be shared (you cannot lead if there is no one to follow you). You need to work together with common understandings to improve, to be generous and kind. It is also important to let yourself and others learn through mistakes, this way that we can come to understand the consequences of our actions. Compassion Leadership understands human frailty.
Courage, Humility, Integrity, Humour, Compassion – the better angels of human nature – female leaders let your better angels shine through.