There are so many leadership qualities that are important to develop to increase your leadership lid, but which ones are the most important? That answer will never be universally agreed upon and nor should it be. Everyone defines leadership differently but for me, leadership means influence. Remember the following I.C.E. acronym to solidify your leadership.
“It is true that integrity alone won’t make you a leader, but without integrity, you will never be one”. That quote was by Zig Ziglar and has always been a reminder to stick to the core values and ethics that I stand for. If we are to expect our teammates to be honest and to put their trust in us, as a leader, we need to have integrity. This will be tested and at times appealing to take the “path of least resistance” but resist that path. As C.S. Lewis said, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching”.
Merriam-Webster defines courage as: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Being a leader is not an easy task. You will most certainly be faced with challenges and tasks that are unenviable to say the least. This should not surprise any leader and is why others are looking up to you to lead them in uncertain times. Courage comes more naturally to some people but remember “courage is a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it”.
Every year I have a theme that I focus on in business. Several years ago, that theme was “never delegate, always empower”. Sounds like a pretty simple theme, right? It was not that simple for me, and I quickly came to realize that I had control issues. What I failed to realize is that I was holding my teammates back by having the mentality of “if I do it, it will get done right”. A true sign of a great leader is if he or she is not there, the team does not miss a beat and succeeds in their absence. It was a humbling and rewarding experience and one of my favorite lessons as I watched my teammates flourish while stepping into their leadership.
I love the use of acronyms as they are simple and easy to remember. Ice has changed the world, your drink and your leadership if applied. Start with these 3 qualities as your foundation, or the I.C.E. you put into your glass before your drink. It is a solid base that will seamlessly melt into the rest of your leadership style.
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