Home » What Makes a Good Leader, Part 1

What Makes a Good Leader, Part 1

If you ask the person on the street to describe our current political leaders, you probably won’t hear very many positive traits listed. Our political culture is harsh, and good leaders seem to be fewer and farther between. That’s one reason it is so important to have a consistent leadership identification plan operating in your organization.

There are many different qualities that you should look for in your leaders, but here are five personal characteristics that you’ll find in a good leader:

1. Integrity
(Oxford Dictionary)
-The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
-The state of being whole and undivided

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionable integrity. Without it, no real success
is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

2. Humility- a good leader has confidence in themselves and their abilities, but doesn’t cross the fine line of being prideful. They understand that they don’t live in a vacuum and they need insight and support from others.

3. Compassion- a person who demonstrates compassion will make decisions based on what is best for others, not what will benefit them personally. People are more likely to trust someone whom they feel cares about them.

“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain, but being moved to help relieve it.”
Daniel Goleman

4. Courage- being a leader, whether in an organization, a political position or on the campaign trail, is not walk in the park. A leader must have courage to make decisions, to stand up for what they believe in, and to bear the scrutiny and criticism of opponents and the press.

5. Optimism- typically, a person runs for office because they want to change something they believe us harmful to the community. A good leader is someone who says, “We have a problem, but we can fix it, and here’s how.” Communicating optimism rather than outrage will inspire people while building confidence and support.

Good leaders are also flawed people- they will make mistakes from time to time, but you should be able to see a pattern of behavior that inspires confidence in them as a person and as a potential political leader. When you find a good leader, be sure to support them and encourage them to stick to these principles.

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