Thankfully we, as a society, are learning that each individual and their contributions matter and to treat anyone poorly is to get poor results. Of course to move forward all societies need to recognize what works and what doesn't; To give up outdated methodologies and adopt newer, more effective ways of doing things.
The new breed of leaders that are needed, and that I believe are emerging now, know this and are learning to use what I call "The Kindness Principle" as they step out, share their visions and encourage people to help them achieve those goals.
The main traits of leaders today that know how to accomplish more and achieve not only their vision but loyalty and faith from the people they need to get there are:
1. Generosity - Growing leaders share their knowledge, experience, resources, and compassion with others. They implicitly trust people – they freely give people the benefit of the doubt.
They give because giving is fun; because it makes people happy; because it can change a life; because it will help the team. They give because it can change an organization; because it will change the world; because you can never go wrong when you give.
2. Service - A true leader will willingly place the needs, desires, and ambition of those they lead ahead of their own. The best leaders are servant leaders. Growing leaders serve.
3. Develop Relationships -The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships. It’s true – one can gain authority and position without connecting with others, but they won’t have the loyalty or faith of those who are expected to follow.
The greatest gift you can give others is time. Developing and maintaining key relationships is a critical discipline if you are going to genuinely care for people, live out vision, and help others achieve their full potential.
Effective leaders genuinely value key relationships and make them top priority.
4. Effectiveness in Conflict - Growing leaders understand that every conflict presents opportunities to grow and to learn – for all parties involved. And it’s far more important to win in the relationship than to win in the conflict.
So, forgive, take full responsibility for your actions, and never fight a battle in which nothing positive is accomplished by a victory.
5. Optimism - Leaders who think optimistically see a world of endless opportunities, even in challenging times.
6. Great Listening Skills - To help people, listening without responding until they are completely finished is a gift and the only way to truly connect. Growing leaders are continually looking for new ways to hear from team members.
7. Adapt to Change - Change is at the core of leadership. After all, if one is not leading people and teams toward change, what are you leading them to do? To be?
8. Desire to Leave a Legacy - To be most effective in life and work, make the success of others a top priority. True success is when one's successor is successful.
Yes, there will be times that people take advantage of such a person. But more often, they will place high value on the transparency and authenticity of a leader if they are investing in them and their dreams.
9. Makes Decisions - Growing leaders don’t put off decisions! They’re convinced that there’s no better time than now.
10. Ability to Acknowledge Failure - Growing leaders mess up – and they get back up. People are more likely to listen to (and learn from) a leader's personal struggles and failures than from their success stories.
We are seeing more and more leaders with these positive traits and fewer and fewer of the "my way or the highway" scare tactics. I, for one am excited and encouraged at how we are evolving into a more cooperative and companionable work force and society.
What do YOU think? Do you see this change happening? Do you think it is a good thing or an erosion of the hard work ethic?