by Lynn Parsons, Executive Director, Coolidge Chamber of Commerce
Leadership is something you learn as well as earn. It is a skill you develop over your lifetime. There is no leadership style best for everyone and all situations. The more you understand the basic characteristics of leadership, the more you will incorporate them in your daily life.
Honesty and integrity. Without this there is no trust. Telling the truth is essential. Sometimes we don’t like the truth but it is essential to succeed. Your integrity of character and strong moral principles are what enable people to trust you to make good decisions.
Commitment. When you make a commitment and you fulfill that commitment, your word can be guaranteed. This creates trust in your integrity. As a leader you need to be committed so others will follow your lead. It is your commitment that will inspire others to be committed to the success of your goals as a leader.
Inspire. As a leader you must be able to inspire people to be the best they can be. Everyone has abilities. You must help them recognize and use their abilities. As a leader you need to be willing to do whatever you are asking your team to do.
Communication. Being able to effectively give information, as well as receive it, allows the whole team to work together. When the goals for a team can be clearly communicated the entire team can work toward the same goals.
Decisiveness. To be confident in your decisions you must be open to understanding and seeing the whole picture. When you have a firm understanding of the situation you decide the best course of action quickly and with confidence.
Accountability. A leader must be accountable for what the team is doing. As a leader you are responsible for the outcome. It is important that you make your team accountable and encourage them to do their very best.
Delegate & Empower. Leaders can’t focus on everything. They must empower their team and give them the tools to be successful. You will then be able to share and celebrate the success of the team.
Bill Gates said, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
If our leaders continue to learn and grow and take on these basic characteristics, we can look to them for their wisdom and guidance. This is especially true in the upcoming elections. We want people who are honest, exhibit integrity, and are passionate in their service.
We need people to inspire us to be the best we can be.
As citizens, we need to look for people with essential leadership characteristics to make good decisions when voting.