Successful organizations have one thing in common; they have good leaders across all levels, leaders who lead by example, have the best skillsets and who take responsibility for their actions. Such character-based senior professionals set the tone for the team, the unit and the organization. It has been established that developing character is complex. It is not taught either in schools or colleges or even professionally. Yet, character fundamentally shapes how we engage with the world around us, what we reinforce, what we value, what we choose to act on etc. Captured below are some of the traits that make a good character-leader:
Emotional Intelligence: Often underestimated, this is a hugely important trait. Leaders with higher emotional intelligence fare better in managing themselves and people around them than those who are mostly reactive. People in leadership roles, no matter how qualified they are, how much knowledge they have, will fail miserably in rallying the teams around them and motivating them to achieve higher goals if they cannot manage their emotions well.
Humility and Openness: Humility is the realization, that all of us are born equal and special in our own way, thus sparing no place for any ego. A leader with humility is open to changing his opinions, beliefs and convictions and bases his decisions on logic and rationality. It allows the leader to seek inputs from his team, while at the same time being decisive when the need arises.
Integrity and Trustworthiness: Integrity is the quality where one is honest with oneself and such leaders display sincerity and candor in all their actions. Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes. Character-based leaders are well aware that any deceptive behavior displayed by them will not inspire trust in colleagues. Being trustworthy will make the person reliable and likeable and people will be more willing to deal with such leaders. This obviously leads to a sense of self-worth for the leader as well!
Accountability: Being accountable means doing what you say you will do and accepting the outcomes expected of you—both good and bad. Accountable leaders often take the initiative to influence the outcome, rather than waiting to be acted upon. Exemplary leaders inspire others to take ownership of their work, resulting in them being self-motivated. They will be the first ones to stand up and admit to their mistakes and take steps towards fixing it.
Courage and Motivation: Courageous leaders believe strongly that they are born to succeed. They have trained themselves to overcome their fears and have strength to face any kind of adversity at work. This percolates to others down the line, inspiring them to go the extra-mile against all odds to achieve results.