Why do we call statues character? It’s because no matter what happens around them, they never change.
For example, Molly’s employees are fiercely loyal to her, everyone respects her, and they are highly successful as individuals and a team. By contrast, other leaders in the organization report that their people seem disengaged, they experience high staff turnover, and their results are often disappointing. So, what does Molly do that other leaders don’t? To begin with, Molly regularly reminds her team members of the purpose of their work. She knows that she is a role model for her team, demonstrating integrity in all of her working relationships.
She sets high expectations, but “walks the walk” to demonstrate the standards that she expects. Molly enjoys the perks of being an inspirational leader and someone of a great character, which allows her team to help their organization achieve its objectives and fulfill its purpose.
Effective leadership is the most critical factor for organizational success in the 21st century, and the old pyramid structure won’t suffice, according to Sheri Nasim, president, and CEO of the San Diego-based Center for Executive Excellence. You might have the authority to tell people what to do, but if you’re an ineffective leader and your character is questionable, you won’t be able to guide, influence, inspire and motivate anyone to accomplish anything.
Great Character Counts
The character of a leader will filter into the entire organization, influencing everyone who works there. A great character will create the potential for a great organization. But, it all begins with the leader’s heart. Authentic and inspirational leaders, by acting on a core set of benevolent values, brings out the best in their team and, as a result, help their organization do great things.
Leading By Fear and Intimidation Is Dead
The days of leading by fear and intimidation are dead. Gone are the days when there was was a physical and emotional distance between leaders and employees. Leaders sat in offices removed from the manufacturing floor and viewed employees only as a labor cost, not as individuals with lives outside of work. Unfortunately, many companies are operating with this ideology where communication is stagnated, and silos are the order of the day. Leaders have a vested interest in building bureaucracy and protecting the status quo to keep their jobs, even though this isn’t necessarily in the company’s best interests.
Many leaders now are very inspirational, and many organizations are now purpose and values-driven, more involved in societal issues, and moved away from the annual performance reviews. They developed and implemented policies that strive to provide a work-life balance, flexible work hours, and a host of other things that genuinely seek their employees’ interest and development.
How often do you change? Who are you? Are you the same person all the time? Are you predictable? A leader of good character is someone whose behavior can be predicted in their absence; in other words, they stay true to their authentic self by never compromising on their values.
Real leadership has always been built on a strong character. It’s not just a role one plays; it is a life one leads, whether you are at home or the office. How many CEOs have resigned because of their questionable character and behavior? They destroy their reputation in a matter of seconds. This is why leaders of good character inspire employees to think and act in ways that contribute to their organization and society’s well-being.
It’s not about an image one portraits for the public; it’s about being your real authentic self while living your life as an example for people to follow.
About The Author
Inspiration creates the highest engagement levels, it is what separates the best leaders from everyone else, and it is what employees want most in their leaders. The Inspirational Leader, Inspire Your Team To Believe In The Impossible, was written to help all leaders successfully navigate all the disruptions in today’s fiercely competitive world. We need a new generation of leaders who care deeply for their team’s well-being and understand that their people are the heart of their leadership.
Click HERE for your copy of The Inspirational Leader.
Gifford is the founder of Leadership First, and we are committed to publishing the very best inspirational leadership quotes and articles from the best leadership minds in the world. We are dedicated to helping every leader create an excellent organization and to provide a daily cup of inspiration for all leaders.