In last two posts I have written about the difference between two, many times interchanged, organizational functions that are necessary to any organization: management (To manage people) and leadership (To lead people). As there is more to both of them, here I’d like to share with you some more of my views on leadership attitudes, the ones that I consider important.
Many of you will agree that leadership is more about who the leader is than what he/she is actually doing. Therefore, we may assume that the attitude is important when influencing, impacting and leading people.
“Every leader has a particular style of leadership that is innate. However, the behaviors, attitudes or methods of delivery that are effective for one staff member may in fact be counterproductive for another,” says Michael Burke. So it is hard to say what then is the ultimate attitude that works on us all. Anyhow, let’s try to sort them out and then use in different occasions.
Attitude to listen with the intention to hear the thoughts through another’s eyes and not to see them through yours is my favorite one. In times of pressure and changes and fight for opportunities it is hard to just be quite and give the others a chance to express. But, it pays back greatly.
Sharing and care help a leader when connecting with people. If a leader cares about his people it is not a hardship to e.g. pull out of the launch, cancel a meeting or something else to dedicate a time slot (share it) with others when his/her presence is needed. It is not much rewarding or wise to push people into solving the problems by themselves. Great leaders do not care just about the business, but also about the people in the business and the ones impacted by it.
This leads us to the next attitude: acknowledge constructive criticism. Delivered in the right way at the right time it brings the needed change or approval. And constructive criticism should be followed by praise, appreciation and acknowledgement to leave the door open for creative thinking. An attitude of supportiveness fosters a positive environment thusly allowing a team to flourish.
Now we come to the next important attitudes that give a meaning and a power to leadership. Definitively it is an honesty to confess – no matter being right or wrong it opens the hearts of followers. Respect is the other side of a constructive criticism’ coin. Leader should treat all people the same and not to make some of them favorites. He is expected to have a passion and focus to live, breathe, eat and sleep his mission. He shares vision or strategy with those around him. Then, a leader gets a confidence. But, as said in my blog Leadership and trust: if you don’t trust/believe in yourself, no one will.
A leader definitively needs clarity in whatever he does or says. It helps him to say ‘yes’ to the right things and ‘no’ to the wrong ones. That brings us to next attitude that a good leader should possess: integrity – leaders with integrity are the ones who are respected and worth following. They empower their associates to make them feel emboldened and powerful and not diminished and powerless.
Those were not all the attitudes on my list but are those that bring a different, more productive and effective leadership way. They foster awareness that the leadership is different to the management.
I would kindly invite all of you to add your thoughts and impressions about important “attitudes” a leader should have!