Lately, leadership is a word that saturates our daily lives — we hear it on the television, on the internet, in conversations that surround our dinner tables, and in chats that happen in our cubicles.
What makes a great leader — in politics, in business, in school, and most importantly, in life?
We’re constantly redefining and reexamining that. Being a good leader is something that constantly permeates my thoughts, which I suppose is only natural given my line of work — I am a director, producer, teacher, and editor in chief. Leadership is an integral part of my work.
So, how do we become better leaders?
Not a simple question to answer, I know.
But here’s what I know thus far:
1. Great leaders recognize that he/she/they don’t know everything
There’s isn’t a person on this planet that is the expert about everything – and it’s important to recognize the gaps in your own knowledge and expertise, for that’s where learning happens.
2. Great leaders know how to delegate
A great leader surrounds themselves with people they know are competent and excellent at what they do, and trust them to do their jobs without micromanaging. Delegation is key.
3. Great leaders are steadfast
A great leader does not incite, ignite, or flame the fans of human darkness and understands that there’s no goodness in that, only danger.
4. Great leaders listen
It’s so simple but true. We can learn so much from one another if we just keep quiet long enough to listen.
5. Great leaders strive to be positive
They understand that strength and compassion can coexist in harmony.
6. Great leaders do not surround themselves with an echo chamber of thought
They encourage civil dissent and discourse and remain introspective.
I think we can come up with endless qualities and check marks of what makes a great leader, and perhaps that’s the key to truly understanding what makes a great leader — the knowledge that one must constantly keep evolving, improving, and growing.
Do we know the recipe for perfect leadership? No. But I think it’s safe to say that we know what makes a bad one.