5 Ways to Spot Leaders with Character
You dare stand with men and women of character. But, protect yourself from leaders who love position, rely on authority, and need admiration.
Character invites respect and loyalty.
5 ways to spot leaders with character:
- Under authority.
- Fully embrace organizational values.
- Speak well of those in authority.
- Supportive of board decisions.
- Publicly stand with decision where there was private disagreement.
- Able to press through resistance.
- Tenacious when it comes to excellence.
- Willing to suffer for principle without retaliation.
- Serving others when it would be easier to serve self.
- Prepared to disadvantage self for a higher cause.
- Open to correction.
- Willing to acknowledge wrong.
- Passionate about improvement.
- Open with ideas they’re learning.
- Passionate about next steps.
- Haven’t arrived.
- Not self-sufficient.
- Provide second chances.
- Trust others who have expertise.
- Emotionally steady.
- No tantrums.
- Openness to suggestion.
- Curious regarding disagreement.
A leader with character believes success is about others.
What do you look for in leaders with character?
I look at how they treat the people who don’t matter, character is reflected in how you treat the people you incidentally touch.
Thanks Billgncs. Powerful because of its simplicity and clarity.
Yep, if he is disrespectful to the secretaries, or maintenance workers, or anyone who isn’t on their project, then you know sooner or later it might be how they treat you.
An interesting post. I may add that a good leader is the follower of good values and ethics. He doesn’t get influenced with tempting ways to make a fast buck and is not surrounded by yes-men staff. He is fair and transparent in his dealings, and empathetic with fellow-colleagues and staff members. He is a God fearing person!
Thank you Dr. Asher. The word transparent pops out to me. I trust leaders who lean toward transparency about themselves and as much as possible about their organization.
Good stuff! I’m working with a person right now who is the oposite and it doesn’t look like it will end well. He was a star in the interview but one issue after the next once he came on board. Character is very difficult to read in people but the true person always surfaces at some point.
Thanks Calvin. Sad but true, we can fake it for awhile. But, it always comes out. best wishes for success.
Great list Dan. I also think a leader with character is someone with empathy. That’s something that as you stated about another matter “we can fake it for awhile. But it always comes out.”
Thanks Alan. The ability to show empathy and move the ball down the field is a powerful leadership quality. I’m always impressed with leaders who truly care for the people on the team. I notice that when people feel like the leader cares for the, they care for the leader.
Would you mind sending a copy of that to the Canadian Parliament? I think they need it.
Thanks swo8. Sadly, those who need it most, care the least.
You got that right!
“Publicly stand with decision where there was private disagreement.” I agree with everything you’ve listed, but especially this one, as I’ve had some personal experience with it lately. A superior has made it clear that he disagrees with upper management, and is not afraid to be vocal about it. While he makes excellent points, it unfortunately creates a divide and makes my coworkers feel like taking sides is expected. It certainly doesn’t foster unity and the feeling that we should all simply focus on our common goals as an institution. Thank you for your insights!
A leader with character is prouder of their ability to listen rather than their ability to speak.
Good character, good ethics, good morals, good leaders who understand that to get from point A to point B you need your people to be able to trust you. Without trust all you have is people you hire for a job. With trust you can build a team that moves as one. The fact they receive a paycheck can be motivating but to belong to a good team with good leadership is life on cruise control driving the down the Avenue of I’m Glad To Be Here. Hard to quit a team that wins for the right reasons.
What if the disagreement on a board has to do with the leaders making decisions that do not prioritize the strategic plan findings identified by the volunteer organization? How can a board member speak up and make the organization aware that the board is choosing a different pathway?
Refrains from gossip and backstabbing.
Leaders with character have earned the respect and trust of peers…not been given it by position. That is why I sense leaders arise from any and all positions and walks of life…
My long time friend of 60+ years always said you can tell the character of a person by how he or she treats a waiter or waitress.
He’s probably right.
I think this is a great guideline. The question I have is that when your people in charge make decisions that are unethical and even illegal I have a hard time not addressing this.
Thanks Timothy. You can’t be silent when decisions are unethical or illegal. In those cases you have to speak up, to the smallest audience possible. If nothing happens, you have to keep speaking and bear the consequences.
Great list. However, what does one do when they are continually told decisions and moving forward will be one way and yet what actually happens is completely different? And, board members are yes people and never hold management accountable for anything. How long does one just agree and be a yes person too even tho what is happening is not what is agreed to nor best for the employees or business?