I've worked with many leaders over time, and as I've worked with them, I recognize the following qualities as qualities of good leaders.
- Good leaders are empathetic. They see the person before they see the problem/opportunity.
- Good leaders are both practical and visionary. This is what is amazing about good leaders. They lead for today and tomorrow at the same time.
- Good leaders are forthcoming, transparent, and willing to stand up for what they believe in. There's little guessing about what good leaders believe in and support--they tell the truth about what they believe in and keep their messages out front so that everyone knows what they think.
- Good leaders are willing to publicly change their minds. Good leaders know that no one knows all, and in this respect the good leader is willing to listen and learn as he/she works with others to make decisions.
- Good leaders are collaborators. They work well with others to make good decisions.
- Good leaders compromise. They recognize that most good policy and decisions are the result of honest debate, hard work, and compromise.
- Good leaders are lovers--yes, they use the tenets of love and care in all they do.
- Good leaders use ambition to feed mission and do not let ambition trump mission.
- Good leaders are ethical--they don't lead with favoritism, cronyism, special deals, and secret actions.
- Good leaders are humble. They admit failure and mistake and look to the wisdom of many to lead.
- Good leaders are compassionate. They lead with an eye on caring for others and making decisions with and for others by "stepping into their shoes."
We all look forward to working with and for good leaders. As educators it's important that we work to develop the skills and knowledge of good leadership in the students we teach as our world depends on good leadership.
Also as educators it's important for us to develop the skills and knowledge of good leadership as we do our work so we model good leadership with the classes, clubs, and efforts we lead.
Good leadership is not a simple science. It takes time to become a good leader, and it's development that never ends as every leader can always get better and learn more.
Who are the good leaders amongst you? How do they display this worthy talent and effort? What criteria did I miss on my list above?