“Leadership is not the ability to tell people what to do," according to Cameron DeBoer of McLean & Company. Leadership is influence and empathy. Leadership doesn’t always entail having a title. It has more to do with actions. So what are the qualities of a leader?

Integrity: Integrity in leaders refers to being honest, trustworthy and reliable. Leaders with integrity act in accordance with their words — in other words, they practice what they preach — and own up to their mistakes, as opposed to hiding them, blaming their team or making excuses. They are transparent in their communications presenting an authentic, believable individual who generates enthusiasm and loyalty. They take the “high road” when addressing values-based decisions and therefore set the example for their team.

Having and sharing a vision: Leadership vision is the ability to concentrate on the most important aspects of self or business, such as what you want to achieve and what type of leader you aspire to be. Your vision can incorporate lessons from your past, as well as present realities that must be addressed and your future aspirations. An organizational vision statement identifies the objectives of an organization and helps define what it hopes to accomplish over the long term. It is aspirational. Having a vision gives teams purpose and direction.

Use of influence for good: Using influence means applying one’s influence to create collaborative environments where the strengths of various organizations can be applied to a given objective. Influence leadership is having an impact on the beliefs and actions of the people who are being led. Leaders understand what motivates team members, which helps create commitment and constructive work environments. This use of influence begins with trust and trust commences with accepting constructive feedback.

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