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motivating leaders

7 Qualities of Motivating Leaders

What are the best qualities you can think of in a leader?

At some point in your life, you’ve worked for a truly great leader, or a truly awful one.  Whichever one you may have worked for (and hopefully you’ve had the opportunity to work for both), you probably have your own set of ideas of what a great leader should be.  Maybe your list differs a bit from mine.   Every person looks at things differently, and each individual person’s values and experiences will shape your list.

Here are mine.

  1. Someone who inspires. I want to follow someone who makes me want to be better.  Not because they are telling me how great they are, but because you can see in their actions how great they are.  Motivating leaders know how to speak to people to make them WANT to follow them.  They share their life experiences, failures, successes, and lessons learned. These people lead by example and don’t mind jumping right in and getting their hands dirty to show you how it’s done.
  2. Someone who cares. It’s easy to be a manager.  It’s not easy to be a caring leader. Someone who cares enough to engage in your life, remember the stories you’ve told them, and generally invests themselves in your success.
  3. Someone who respects your time, as much as they respect their own. Someone who respects your time will not ask something of you, that they wouldn’t be willing to do themselves.  A caring and inspiring leader who would do the same for you, is someone worth going the extra mile for. Leaders who respect your time are punctual to meetings and timely in replies to questions.
  4. Someone who knows their stuff. The warm and fuzzy stuff is wonderful, it makes you feel comfortable and like you are a part of something, but at the end of the day, you want to be following someone who knows where they are leading you, leading with integrity and purpose, toward the common goal.
  5. Someone who is brutally honest and straightforward. When the time comes for feedback, or performance reviews, I believe that the leader who can bluntly tell you both your strengths and weaknesses without beating around the bush, is definitely someone worth following.
  6. Someone who can be flexible to change. Just because we have always done things a certain way, doesn’t mean we always should.  Great leaders can roll with the punches, and adjust accordingly. Even better, a great leader is the visionary steering the change.
  7. Someone who gives credit when credit is due. Celebrating successes of every member of the team builds more morale than singlehandedly taking on all the praise. Humility and power, hand in hand.

What do you look for in a leader?  I’d love to see your list as well!


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