Leadership Behaviors

Leaders:
  • Communicate exceptional focus of commitment, which attracts other people to them
  • Understand the necessity of integrating many different initiatives, factors, projects, people, etc. into a common effort toward a common goal
  • Make ideas tangible and real to others, so others can support them
  • Know their skills and deploy them effectively
  • Take responsibility for being players rather than spectators
  • Accept the possibility of being wrong and get rid of worry as an obstacle to clear thinking
  • Generate a shared vision and values
  • Create a sense of hope
  • Hold people accountable
  • Focus on performance
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Reduce the fear of failure and risk-taking
  • Reward learning, experimentation and innovation
  • Live the organization's values
  • Coach and teach
  • Fight complacency
  • Delegate and then get out of the way
  • Ask questions and really listen to the answers
  • Say "we" instead of "I" and "you"
  • Make people feel significant
  • Are trustworthy - you know what they stand for
  • Trust others
  • Encourage diversity of opinion
  • Give credit to others
  • Involve people in decisions that affect them
  • Show genuine respect to everyone, including those who disagree with them
  • Boost egos
  • Find common personal ground
  • Praise publicly, criticize privately
  • Give bad news in person
  • Share information
  • Ask for help when they need it
  • Admit when they don't know something
  • Spread the glory, shoulder the blame
  • Understand how every single action furthers achievement of organizational mission and goals
I got started on the path of enumerating leadership behaviors after I read James O'Toole's Leadership A to Z: A Guide for the Appropriately Ambitious (Jossey Bass, Inc., 1999), which is a wonderful book on leadership. Esther Wachs Book's Why the Best Man for the Job is a Woman (HarperCollins, 2000) is also useful.