As I’ve had the opportunity to meet leaders in the different places I’ve worked or networked, I’ve gotten to see quite a few different leadership styles and qualities. My favorite quality is not vision or creativity, or assertiveness, or even spirituality. My favorite leadership quality and the one that I aspire to have is being genuine.
According to dictionary.com genuine means:
possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, origin; not counterfeit; authentic; real: genuine sympathy; agenuine antique.
The reason that being genuine is my favorite quality in a leader is that you can’t fake it, and faking it as a leader is the worst possible thing you can do (in my opinion). My favorite leaders may not be the most visionary, or the most creative, or even lead the largest organizations, but they are genuine. I can trust them, which means, they can lead me.
There’s so much to say about this, I may (or may not) write a few posts. But I’ll close with this – Leaders, aspiring leaders: be genuine. Do what you say you’re going to do, and when you don’t, admit it, don’t blame other people or circumstances, just own it. Don’t lie – and yes, half truths are lies. Be honest with people, create environments where you can share openly about your expectations and their performance. If people are following you, you owe it to them to be genuine.