Hello, and welcome to the Leadership Done Right Podcast, Episode 78: 6 Leadership Characteristics That Build and Maintain Followership!
Hi friends! In this episode, we’re going to talk about 6 leadership characteristics that build and maintain followership. The six leadership characteristics that build and maintain followership are:
- Work Ethic
6 Leadership Characteristics That Build and Maintain Followership
In today’s business and leadership environment, it is more important than ever to have leadership characteristics that build and maintain followership. Leaders face more challenges than ever before coming from every angle. With social media, blogging, YouTube and a wide variety of other platforms, leaders can be exploited. Their actions can be taken out of context, and they can be challenged in a number of ways.
Even with all these challenges, leaders can develop these 6 leadership characteristics that build and maintain followership.
People follow leaders that are honest. Honest leaders are 100% truthful no matter the cost. They do not bend the truth or twist facts to make themselves look better. They live this way because they know it develops trust with those they lead. That trust builds and maintains followership of those they lead.
When leaders bend the truth to make themselves look good, even the slightest bit, they always fear their dishonesty will catch up with them. Honesty is very easy for small things, but can be much more difficult on big things. For example, it is easy to admit a mistake on a small typo. It is much harder, however, to admit to a significant financial blunder. The magnitude of the two situations is far different. Regardless of the situation, honesty is always the best policy.
Honest leaders never have to look over their shoulders and fear being caught in a lie. Leaders that are honest have an unwavering dedication to the truth. They are not willing to be dishonest for anything because they know that it is unethical and damages their credibility.
When I think of accountability, I think of the saying from President Harry S. Truman of “The buck stops here.” Leaders with accountability take full responsibility for their own actions and the actions of their followers. Great leaders understand that accountability leads to progress.
Like honesty, there are times when accountability is easy and others when it is very hard. When your team successfully completes a project it is easy to be accountable. When they fall short, it is hard to be accountable. You might get reprimanded. Others may be disappointed in you. Or, you may not get the promotion for which you were hoping. It is not always easy to have accountability. Great leaders understand that accountability is an essential leadership characteristic that builds and maintains followership.
Integrity is also very important because without it, you don’t have anything. The dictionary (www.dictionary.com) defines integrity as, “adherence to moral and ethical principles.”
The old saying that your word is your bond is just as true today as it was 50 or 100 years ago. When I think of integrity I think of individuals that do what they say they are going to do and make promises they can keep.
Integrity encompasses both honesty and accountability, but it is even more. Integrity also includes dependability. A leader with integrity is very dependable and will be there when you need them.
They lead by example and follow strong moral and ethical principles. Leaders with integrity are not afraid to stand up for what is right even if it is not the most popular choice. They are also not afraid to let people know what guiding principles they follow. It is very important to live with integrity so people can trust what you say and do.
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4. Work Ethic
There is no substitute for hard work. Great leaders gain the respect of those they lead by working hard and having a strong work ethic. The harder you work the greater impression you will make. As you work hard, those you lead see that you care about what you do. It also helps others gain trust in you.
As you learn leadership characteristics that build and maintain followership, it is easy to get overwhelmed. The easiest way to overcome the overwhelm, is to work hard each day to become better. You may want to develop every leadership characteristic immediately to change the world and make your mark. Instead of trying to do it all at once, take steps by working hard daily to become better. If you work hard, little by little you’ll gain leadership characteristics that build and maintain followership.
Leadership credibility It is the ability of a leader to gain the trust and confidence of others. Some people say that when you have leadership credibility, others believe in you and your ability to get things done. When you gain this credibility, those you lead will follow you to the ends of the earth. They will trust you, your decisions and your ability to lead them.
This level of leadership credibility is hard to gain. Leaders constantly face the challenge of gaining leadership credibility from their followers. To add to the challenge, their followers try to test their leader’s leadership credibility. Followers want to know if their leaders are really qualified to be their leader. They also want to be sure that the leader knows what they are talking about.
Leadership credibility is not something that can be gained over night. It is developed by consistent ethical and moral behavior.
Now we’ll discuss the sixth and final leadership characteristic that builds and maintains followership. It is humility. When leaders have humility, they are teachable, willing to listen to others, and self-aware. Humble leaders know their strengths, weaknesses, and aspects where they need the skills an abilities of others to succeed.
If you are wondering what it really means to be humble, I’ll give you a few examples. Often as a leader it’s easy to get arrogant thinking, “you got there all by yourself so you are great and wonderful and everyone else isn’t.” This attitude hurts relationships you can potentially develop with others. It can even stop relationships before they start.
Instead of being arrogant, humble leaders recognize the contributions and efforts of others in the team success. They understand the value of the team. And, they know their role and the team’s role in the overall success.
Humble leaders are often heard thanking others, recognizing the contributions of team members, and showing support for others. They know their role and responsibility, but don’t let that go to their head. Leaders with humility drive you to be better and do more.
That concludes the 6 leadership characteristics that build and maintain followership. Let’s do a quick recap. The 6 leadership characteristics that build and maintain followership are:
- Work Ethic
If you are feeling overwhelmed thinking about how you will ever develop all these characteristics over night, don’t get discouraged. Just tackle one quality at a time. Think of practical ways you can put each characteristic into practice on a daily and weekly basis and then work on doing that.
Thank you for listening to the Leadership Done Right podcast. You can check out the show notes at LeadershipDoneRight.com/PodcastEpisode78/.
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Thanks again for listening! My goal is to help you become a great leader, now go be the best leader you can be!
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