How Do You Lead?

June 23, 2016 James M. Kouzes

What makes a good leader? Do all good leaders share the same dominant characteristics? Do you have to be born a leader, or can you become one? Good leadership often seems like an ideal that is easy to talk about but hard to actually define or pin down to a set of traits or characteristics.

Titles are given, but behavior and deeds are what really set someone apart as a leader. There are discernable traits and actions that leaders utilize in order to help those they guide find their own pathway to success. These include everything from focusing on setting a good example, inspiring those who follow them to having a focused vision, and enabling others to be their best selves. True leaders recognize that helping others reach their potential not only serves to hone their own skills, but to make their team and organization stronger as a whole.

In addition, the best leaders are the ones who constantly work to improve their own skills so that they can continually provide a positive example for all those who follow them. Through their commitment to constant improvement, they are doing exactly what leaders are expected to do: model the behavior and drive that they wish to see from others. Their actions personify what it means to be a good leader.

To learn more about the skills and behaviors that can help you to advance your leadership and management style, see the slides below.


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