Leadership researcher and author John Spence’s Focus on Education session at NSBA’s Annual Conference Saturday offered several ways to figure out if you’re a good leader.
Spence based his information on his own research and others in the business world to define the qualities of good leaders.
* Character. People want leaders who are honest and forward-looking, he said. Be good at your job skills as well as being good at leadership skills. “If if you aren’t committed and engaged, no one else is either,” he said.
* Courage. People want leaders who have the courage to think big, to be bold, to speak the truth, to make great things happen, and to be vulnerable.
* Communications. People expect their leaders to be great communicators. More importantly, he said, leaders ask great questions and listens.” Authenticity is important — be the real you.
* Trust. Consistently communicate that you’re competent and you care, he said. “How long does it take to build up trust like this? A long time. How long does it take to lose it? Minutes.”
* Collaboration. “This is a big idea,” he said. “We have two things to compete with — the quality and talent of the people on the team and the relationships that they have with their customers.”
* Competency. Good leaders have a commitment to lifelong learning.
* Compassion. People feel safe – physically, psychologically, and emotionally. “If they don’t feelsafe, they don’t bring their full selves to their jobs,” he said.
* Contribution: Many people do what’s easy and convenient, he said, but leaders do what’s right and what is best.”
Spence asked audience members to write a list of what kind of leader they wanted to be, and to take those lists home and share them with their board colleagues and others.
“Our entire country is watching you,” he said. “You are one of the legs that holds up the entire country. We are focused on your leadership ability and your success. We are watching you and depending on you to be the best leaders you can be.”