Sunday, January 29, 2012

Key Leadership Qualities - Maturity

Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby) said “Maturity is: The ability to stick with a job until it's finished; The ability to do a job without being supervised; The ability to carry money without spending it; and The ability to bear an injustice without wanting to get even.” I think that she was on the right track.

Maturity in areas of leadership reveals itself often as discretion. There is a learned set of behaviours associated with it. Here are some signs of maturity in leadership.

A mature leader:
Doesn't shoot first and ask questions later.
A mature leader gathers the necessary facts and chooses the right course of action, rather than having knee-jerk reactions.

Doesn't try to be the Lone Ranger.
We need other people, especially capable, trusted advisors. A mature leader is not threatened by having other strong leaders around him or her. When they need advice, they're not too insecure to go out and get it.

Deals with subordinates with class.
I was always taught to praise in public and criticize behind closed doors. No-one wants to be shown up in front of their peers. Do it the right way. This will earn and keep the respect of  your team.

Takes responsibility.
President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that said simply: "The buck stops here." Simply put, ultimate responsibility resides with the leader. Immature leaders look for someone to blame when things go wrong. Real leaders stand up and say "This happened on my watch. I own this problem." This builds loyalty.

Chooses his battles wisely.
Someone said that if you make everything life and death, you'll be dead a lot. There are some things that are not worth fighting over. Show discretion with minor issues; focus on the majors. This encourages your team to take ownership, knowing they won't be micro-managed.

Leads by example.
The days of "do as I say; not as I do" are long gone. Hypocrites will not hold the respect of their team and will eventually pay the price. Conversely, you'll be surprised at how many people are willing to pay the price to accomplish the vision when they see the leader leading the charge.

Related Articles:
Key Leadership Qualities - Resourcefulness
Key Leadership Qualities - Servanthood
Key Leadership Qualities - Security
Key Leadership Qualities - Communication
Key Leadership Qualities - Perspective
Key Leadership Qualities - Discernment
Key Leadership Qualities - Adaptability

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