Many of us have had a silent leader in our lives. The silent leader has a powerful impact on you because they don’t have to say much to be a great leader. They set a strong positive example for everyone to follow. Also, when they lead, others follow just because of who they are.
I will use the pronoun “he” throughout this post to mean both he and she rather than go back and forth between “he/she” and “him/her”. I do not intend offend anyone.
Four Characteristics of a Silent Leader
Each silent leader that I have met had some if not all of the following four characteristics.
A silent leader understands that he sets the example for those he leads. He knows that he cannot expect his followers to do anything he is not willing to do, so he sets the best example he can for his followers. In addition, the silent leader realizes that everything that happens around him starts with what he does. If he sets a good example, people are more likely to do good while if he sets a bad example, others will be more likely to make poor choices as well. To set a good example, the silent leader takes the initiative and determines how he is going to act in any given situation before the situation arrives so that he can make good choices.
The silent leader is a finisher and follows through on his commitments. He is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. When necessary, the silent leader works extra hours, improves processes, and/or figures out how to make a more efficient use of resources to get the job done. The silent leader does everything he can to be a finisher each and every time.
To ensure that he remains a finisher, the silent leader takes on big challenges but never bites off more than he can chew. He will not make commitments he cannot keep which make his commitments much more valuable. The silent leader has mastered the ability to do what he says he will do. He is always a finisher in everything he does.
The silent leader knows that every situation presents a teaching opportunity. He is willing and able to take advantage of those opportunities so he teaches those he leads the correct principles. The silent leader is known as someone that continuously teaches. His teaching is done through his actions and beliefs, in addition to his words.
HumThe silent leader is so good at teaching that he doesn’t know he is even teaching. He is just a teacher by nature. He teaches correct principles to his followers and then has confidence that they will follow and they do. When the silent leader teaches, he does not nag or micromanage because he trusts his followers.
A silent leader is humble. He shows humility in his accomplishments and failures. He knows he would not achieve his accomplishments if it were not for the help his team and coworkers. When the silent leader fails, he is willing to take criticism and change quickly because he knows failure teaches him a specific lesson he needs to learn. As he goes through life he is humble in all aspects.
As each leader strives to be the silent leader, they work to obtain the mentioned qualities. There efforts also impact the lives of those they lead. I strive to have the qualities of a silent leader in all I do. What does it mean to you to be a silent leader? What impact has a silent leader had on you? Have you had the experience of having a silent leader in your life? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!