Good leaders are proactive and prepared. Good leaders take initiative on the responsibilities given to them. Good leaders are resourceful.
Good leaders know their industry, their direction, their role and their team. They lead from an unshakeable, settled sense of self. They take on additional responsibility and measure themselves based on the success of the team. They don’t make excuses.
Bad leaders are reactive and ill-prepared. Bad leaders actively reject responsibility. They are filled with excuses — not enough support, my boss hates me, my team is unhinged and uncooperative, my kids won’t behave. Bad leaders have to be told what to do.
Good leaders lead by personal influence and example. They don’t demand allegiance or unilateral loyalty but rather influence action from a humble-yet-confident posture. Bad leaders lead by title and dictation. They demand work done in their way and refuse to relinquish control. They project outward confidence to mask deep insecurity.
Good leaders share the victory when they experience a win and take sole responsibility when they experience a loss. Bad leaders white-knuckle their claim to anything appearing to be a win and spread blame when the losses occur.
Good leaders focus on the vision/mission/values that benefit the whole. Bad leaders focus on personal achievement that benefits themselves.
Good leaders carve out intentional time to focus on the important but not urgent. Bad leaders don’t know what important is and can only see the urgent.
Good leaders lead with a strong internal compass. Bad leaders require a map created by someone else.
Good leaders delegate ownership and responsibility. Bad leaders delegate tasks and deadlines.
Good leaders start with why and spend time clearly defining “what” needs to be accomplished. Bad leaders don’t understand the why and focus too much attention on the “how”, often needing the “how” to be figured out themselves.
Good leaders have a habit of communicating quickly and clearly. They understand that effectiveness with people is more important than efficiency with things. Bad leaders are unreliable and unresponsive. They center themselves around instant personal gratification, escapism and laziness. They focus on the stability of tasks rather than the messiness of people.
Good leaders highly value discipline. They create rhythms and routines to expand their effectiveness in all areas of life. They reflect on the events of each day and often take painful steps to learn and grow. Bad leaders think discipline is foolish and boring. Bad leaders prefer to chill out with video games or escape difficulty through binge watching shows. They are content stagnating in who they are now.
Good leaders think about how to multiply and grow the people around them. Bad leaders think about how they can use the people around them to advanced themselves.
Good leaders demand the best of those who work with them. They are not satisfied with “good” at the expense of “great”. They work from a mindset of excellence and expect the same from those in their sphere of influence. Bad leaders acquiesce to whatever their team can give. They allow A players to devolve and deflate into half-hearted C players. Their expectations don’t align with reality.
Good leaders focus and prioritize the things that matter. Good leaders take charge on directional opportunities that can be realistically executed on and accomplished. Bad leaders focus on the next crisis or task on the list. They let their team work on whatever feels good without regard to the greater benefit of the organization.
Good leaders make other people feel like anything is possible. Bad leaders make other people feel stuck with no way out.
Good leaders humble themselves and serve others so that their team flourishes. Bad leaders take control and demand service to them to get ahead.
The world desperately needs more good leaders. Be one.
To better leaders,
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