Often times, great leaders let their character and actions speak for themselves. Their words have meaning, but their morals and principles are the essence of their leadership. One must have the audacity and courage to believe in one's self, even when others do not.
A leader must stand up for what he or she believes is right. Sometimes, a leader takes an unpopular stance on a particular topic which often leads to criticism and scrutiny. However, a leader must never sacrifice his or her beliefs due to wealth, status, and acclaim.
Do what is right. As a leader, what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? How do you want to be remembered?
In today's society, there is an alarming disconnect amongst leaders and their communities. Many leaders and managers were elevated to such positions because of their body of work, but lacked the ability to connect with people.
Too many leaders exercise the top-down approach when engaging with people. This approach is often autocratic, dictatorial, and ineffective. Subsequently, these leaders are unable to impact their communities.
Leaders must work to interact and engage with their communities. "Open feedback loops" provide a platform for all to participate and interact, help to form conversations, and encourage responses from conversations.
It's important for a leader to remain present. A leader should not hide in the shadows but should be accessible. He or she should engage with colleagues and employees.
This may come as a surprise to many, but a leader should speak less and listen more. Instead of thinking about a retort or answer to a response, seek to actively listen.
A leader must stay calm and remain positive, even when situations go awry. Attitudes are contagious, and a leader must understand this. When a leader exudes confidence, it has a powerful effect on the organization.