Laurie KennedyLeadership is fragile, a gift given to leaders by their followers. Effective leaders earn the respect of their followers daily. Leaders are expected to lead honestly with positive character traits, setting an example of personal and corporate values, consistency and care. Respect is earned.

Patrick Lencioni is quoted in Derailed, “…when it comes to the people who are responsible for making … organizations healthy, it’s all about character.  Yes, character.”

Look at the leaders you identify with. Think about your mentors. Remember those who influenced you through your early years of work? Who influences your life today? Would like to emulate their style?

How did the leaders you emulate earn and maintain your respect?  Did they do it though autocratic, authoritative decision making? Did they earn your respect by criticism, put downs and silo thinking?  Did they wield authority or use the organizational big stick? I think not.

The leaders you respect, most likely demonstrated a servant leadership style of caring, love and respect for you and their other followers.  These leaders earned your respect by their words and actions. Their character was positive, uplifting and demonstrated a personal life of integrity. They earned your respect by setting an example by their positive caring decisions.  Their followers respected and trusted their consistency of action and lifestyle.

J. Oswald Sanders, in Spiritual leadership, lists the leadership characteristics of Nehemiah as, prayer, courage, concern for others, keen foresight, a strain of caution, making clear decisions, empathetic, a realist, a vigorous administrator, a calm crisis manager, a fearless initiator, a courageous decision maker, a persevering leader, resolute in the face of threats and vigilant against treachery.  Further, Sanders confirms that Nehemiah was “a leader who won and held the full confidence of his followers.”

Your role is to be the positive influence to those who aspire to follow you.

Leadership is earning the care and respect of your followers on a daily basis.

What positive leadership characteristics do your followers see in you?

Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach