Leaders are, by definition, leaders. They give direction and provide support and then get out of your way and let you do the job they hired you to do. They may not always agree with you, but they ask what you think, and consider it as a critical piece of input into their decision-making process. They also proactively find opportunities to let you step up and gain visibility and take the time to recognize your contributions through informal channels like coffee chats and, especially, through formal channels such as performance evaluations.
They encourage you to take on significant challenges and support you when you're experiencing your most challenging moments. Exceptional leaders treat you as you deserve to be treated: With dignity and respect. They don't strike you down with belittling comments, and never intentionally try to place you in an embarrassing or demeaning position. They show a genuine interest in you personally and professionally by asking, "How are you?" or "How's your family?" while listening, and expressing real concern to your situation.
Source: Glenn Leibowitz
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