[June 15, 2020] Leaders have an ideal painted in their minds about how they want others to see them. More than anything else, they don’t want people to see them as a failure. More specifically, how do leaders want to be seen?
There is no simple answer. With the many types of leaders and combined with personality, level of social skills, missions, and environment, what leaders are looking for varies. However, I do believe there is some common ground. A few leader ideals come immediately to mind. There are always exceptions.
Leaders are those people who others trust to influence and guide them. With that in mind, here is my list regarding how leaders want others to see them:
- Technically proficient. No real leader wants a reputation as a dunderhead. Enough idiots are masquerading as leaders who make a mess of things. If you don’t know how your business works, you cannot lead very well.1
- Fair and Trustworthy. Leaders who treat everyone the same, adhering to the same rules, enforcing equal standards, and giving the same chances to all are highly valued in the best leaders. Only through this can one be viewed as trustworthy and reliable.
- They are caring for their followers. Caring means that a good leader goes out of his way to ensure everyone has the resources, guidance, and understanding to get their job done. A great leader is also one who works hard to ensure everyone is a success.
- Smart, Creative, Inspirational, and Resourceful. We’ve all seen leaders fail and fail terribly. The main reasons often fall into this category. They lack the spirit, creativity, inspiration, and resourcefulness necessary to get the job accomplished with the least costs.
- Decisive and Bold. No one wants others to view them as a “wimp” (a derogatory label). Everyone values strength, passion, aggressiveness, and the ability to make bold, quick, decisive decisions.
- Problem solver and delivers results. If you can’t solve problems or get the job done, no matter how much people love you as a leader, then you are not a leader. Every leader wants to have a reputation as accomplishing tasks before them rapidly and quickly.
- Speaks the truth. No one likes a liar. Nothing says you cannot be trusted or relied upon when you cannot tell the truth. No one will know where you stand.
- Professional. Professionalism is a catch-all concept that means many different things. For most of us, it means the leaders should be seen as staying above politics, stays out of no-win squabbles, conducts themselves morally and with integrity, and has a positive attitude.
Well, that’s my list. Many leaders I’ve known work hard to create the image that has of themselves, and this list covers most of what they want others to see. Why? They want to be successful in their job, personal life, and friendships.2
- Yes, there are a few, mostly narcissists, who don’t care and will not waste their energy worrying about how others see them.