There are lots of different leadership styles out there. Positive and negative. Effective and ineffective. People-centred and task-centred. But successful leadership doesn’t automatically mean great leadership. Successful leaders celebrate results, but great leadership brings people with you to celebrate together. One thing great leaders all have in common, no matter their individual success or style, is the leadership attitude they hold.
1. A great leadership attitude is to place others before ourselves
Great leaders live to serve, not to be served. They give to others according to their needs, instead of taking because of their own needs. This attitude builds loyalty because everyone wants to follow a leader committed to seeing them succeed. Loyalty breeds connection and connection unlocks service. Imagine how this would play out in the leadership functions of communication, directing, and teamwork, and the difference that would make in your organisation.
2. A great leadership attitude is to allow ourselves to be influenced by others.
None of us is an island, and every single one of us needs others in our lives. We all have knowledge or skill gaps and need teaching, training, coaching or mentoring. When we are teachable, people see – they see a humility that is approachable and comforting. Would you want to follow someone who knows it all? When we are leading and living as if we are open to influence from others, people will notice.
3. A great leadership attitude is to understand the power of our internal world.
Leadership roles and responsibilities are a sobering mirror that exposes our heart. Our insecurities will manifest in subtle and not so subtle ways. We are exposed, and the people around us will see us in a new light, and they might not like what they see. So it is imperative that we identify and resolve any insecurity or unhealthy patterns of thinking. If we fail to do so, what is in us will come out of us – and more people will notice that we truly believe! If some of our pain and fear is evident, our leadership credibility will be undermined in the eyes of those we are leading. Examples of unhealthy thinking that will erode our leadership effectiveness include independence, rebellion, fear of peoples opinions, passivity, jealousy, competitiveness, comparison, fear of failure, fear of risk, control, manipulation, blame-shifting, and perfectionism. Whilst this isn’t an exhaustive list, it is interesting to note that these are internal attitudes. The change has to start with us changing the way we think.
What other examples of a great leadership attitude do you think great leaders have? Let me know in the comments below.