Do you want to be a leader? Then there are several things that you absolutely need. These qualities are embodied by people such as Meg Whitman and CEO Charles Phillips, master and mistress of Infor and Hewlett Packard Enterprise respectively. Let’s take a look at the three qualities these people all have.
Courage is not about never being afraid. It is about accepting that fear, and acting regardless. Fear is an emotion that encourages us to think about how to react. Although the fear remains when we take that action, we are courageous enough to do it anyway. Leaders have to grow for the rest of their lives, and they constantly have to change. Change frightens people, but leaders step out of their comfort zone and are courageous enough to grab the bull by the horns. Leaders also have the courage to look towards the future and imagine how they may further develop themselves.
2. Role Models
True leaders are role models. They practice what they preach and they lead by example. This means that they work using methods that others can identify and that they can copy. Leaders connect with others and inspire them to become more. Good leaders show that they work hard, even if the job may seem mundane. Those who work for them see this, and can copy it, in turn becoming more confident about their own skills and grow with this. Real leaders are intuitive about how to push people to make the most out of themselves. They know when to ask questions and what types of emotional reactions to expect, anticipating those before they happen so they can role model appropriate responses.
Last but not least, leaders are teachers. Leading by example, as mentioned earlier, is a form of teaching. The story of the fish is appropriate here. Giving someone a fish means they are fed for a day, teaching them to sell fish makes them dependent on others, although with income. Teaching them how to fish, however, means they can feed a village, sell fish, and more. Leaders teach people how to fish – and you may want to take that literally, because actually going fishing is also a lot of fun. And fun is the best way to learn new skills.
One of the reasons why people become successful leaders is because the people they lead trust them. When there is trust in a team, positive change inevitably follows. This positive change includes people gaining greater courage and seizing the day, which in turn means they become role models and, therefore, teachers. As such, the circle of life of leadership keeps running, with one leader inspiring the next one and so on.
People like Charles Phillips and Meg Whitman know what it means to be a leader. They have been around the block and understand what their role is, and what is needed of them. They inspire others to achieve similar things by teaching them how to do that.