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What We Want From Leaders


I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership lately. What it is. And what it isn’t. And as I’ve pondered I’ve tried to piece together the most important qualities I want to see in a leader.

It’s really easy to accept someone as a “leader” just because they say they are. But that’s a pretty easy road to take. To consciously acknowledge someone as a leader is to grant that person a great deal of trust, respect and, at times, even power. And that takes a lot more effort and discernment.

So what is it that we want to see in those who lead us?

Because I know the tribe I am lucky enough to communicate with on Twitter and Facebook is WAY smarter than I am sitting here alone with my little brain, I decided to pose the question there/

“What do you consider the most critical quality in a leader?”

The responses came in fast and furious so clearly it’s a topic people want to talk about. Below are most of the responses I received. And I hope that you will add your thoughts in the comments.

carolynellis @SarahRobinson Walking their talk – integrity. Speaking from the heart. Listening to understand, not to fix 🙂

lina003 @SarahRobinson Integrity, Positive Self-Image, Leading by Example, Servant Leadership
Emily_Friedrich@SarahRobinson honesty, trustworthy, has the team’s back
STEELMARKBus@SarahRobinson Integrity and willingness to listen.
Cottonaggie @sarahrobinson Having a servant’s heart.
etherjammer @SarahRobinson A combination of conviction and compassion.
JanetSlack @SarahRobinson Leadership qualities – integrity (doing what U say U will) & moral courage 2 do the hard stuff.
ElysiaBrooker@SarahRobinson someone who has real world experience behind what they teach and lives how they preach.
AmyKesselcpc@sarahrobinson Empathy. Vision. (Close tie)
KidsAreHeroes@SarahRobinson To make everyone under their leadership a success.
a8forwomen @sarahrobinson a leader is wise, surround him/her w solid team, knows weaknesses, is strategic and makes decisions

timsterr @SarahRobinson ability to hold a candid, meaningful, and productive discussion on a personal level made possible by mutual trust & concern

daniellemmiller@SarahRobinson Emotional Intelligence re: Leadership

DooneyPug @SarahRobinson Open-mindedness, strength, humility, confidence, courage, Will to listen, faith, heart

manamica @sarahrobinson most important quality in a leader… follow-through as in, does what she says, practices what she preaches…

Journeywoman@SarahRobinson 1st and foremost a good leader must 1st believe in themselves.
greghartle @SarahRobinsonThe ability to inspire.
prettynetwork @SarahRobinson: Integrity.
jenbrentano @SarahRobinson willingness to ‘get in the trenches’ when necessary
PaceSmith @SarahRobinson Caring. If a leader cares (about the outcome, about their followers) then all else follows.
sandalwoodpics@SarahRobinson the ability to communicate, inspire, and help people stay focused & on track.
perricollins @sarahrobinson Not being afraid to admit they were wrong or that someone else’s idea was better.
CoachGogo @SarahRobinson True self-awareness & clarity
lryanis @SarahRobinson Good Communicator. Key to motivating and empowering others.
TheOnlineMom@SarahRobinson a leader’s private and public conversation is exactly the same

k8dotcom @SarahRobinson someone who sees big picture, helps you see big picture, and helps you define & feel good about doing your part.
dewaynepope@SarahRobinson Integrity, honesty, vision, ability to communicate, openness to other’s ideas, ability to make decisions, lead by example

Gali Conklin Offering consideration and credit to others’ ideas and insights~Respectful Collaboration.

Lori Walker Cummings To know the difference between confidence and arrogance…

Rachel D Miller To lead while still being a part of the whole/team.
Al Smith Listening, then applying, and finally Influencing
Peggie Arvidson to empower others to find their best strengths and show them how to use it in pursuit of thecommon goal.
Mohit Pawar If I were to add one more …. finding people more capable then herself to come on board..
Mark Sherrick the best quality a leader can have is the ability to train his/her replacement and give them the qualities they need to be a success.
Terry Greenhonesty … if a leader can’t be honest, than he can’t be trusted.
There’s so much to learn from all of this shared wisdom. So much conversation to be had.
Most of all, I think the list above gives us excellent insight into what it is, exactly, we want from those who lead us. If we are leaders, take notes. If we are looking for those who will lead us, take notes.
What qualities would you add to the list? Please post them in the comments. 🙂
I also wanted to let everyone know there is ONE seat left in my Summer Mastermind (no this isn’t some dumb false scarcity number. I can take eleven people and ten have stepped up.) If you want to move you and your business forward while enjoying some delicious summertime goodness, grab the last remaining seat here:


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