Do You have the Makings of a Great Leader?

Today leadership is challenged more than ever. However, I believe at times we get away from the foundational principles. The following are 12 characteristics that I learned through the teachings of the Lakota people:

  • Respect – treating yourself and others with dignity and courtesy, listening to yourself and others even if you are not agreeing or liking what is said.
  • Compassion – the ability to listen, understand, and acknowledge the emotional state of another person or oneself.
  • Honesty (adj) and Truth (n) – honesty is being connected to your moral code; truth is speaking to the facts and current reality.
  • Generosity – showing kindness or giving of gifts (monetary or non-monetary).
  • Humility – acknowledgement of the modest or truthful view of one’s importance.
  • Wisdom– having experience, knowledge (mind, body, and soul), sound judgement, and emotional intelligence around actions and decisions.
  • Courage – strength to face the emotional pain, fear, grief, sadness, and so on of a situation.
  • Gratitude – expressing appreciation for yourself and others; even when you may be opposed to or tested.
  • Faith – the ability to trust in a belief, others, situation, or anything that is out of your control.
  • Forgiveness – the ability to move forward from an action (yours or others’), situation.
  • Fortitude – the ability to draw upon your strength again and again both mentally and emotionally.
  • Honor – the ability to show the value and importance of yourself and towards others.

When you are living the best version of yourself you inspire others to live the best versions of themselves. Steve Maraboli

Unsure of where you are on the leadership scale? Try this assessment:

  1. Draw two columns by each word.
  2. In the first column, rate how do you demonstrate this characteristic on a day to day basis.
  3. In the second column, how would others rate you on a day to day basis.

Be honest and truthful, or do not continue (this assessment will not help you). On a scale 1-10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.

What differences do you see and are they important to highlight? What characteristics do you want to be a higher score? Where are you willing to have thecourageto explore those uncomfortable areas?

Results – Highlight what you believe needs to be examined. Seek help from trusted experts, coaches, mentors and/or peers to help you move forward successfully.

Summary – If you think these are touchy feely characteristics, think again. Your human, you interact with humans and these are traits asked of you from others. If this exercise “touched/pushed a button,” start exploring why.

Be the best leader you can be! Your employees, audience, stakeholders, client, family, friends, and humanity needs what you can bring to this world!