Tuesday, March 02nd, 2010 | Author:

By Jason Wilton

What traits do the very best leaders exhibit? When you know what great leaders do, it’s easier to develop your enlightened leadership skills. So, let’s examine some of what the best of the best do on a regular basis.

Great leaders look backwards and forward.

You’ve probably heard many people say that enlightened leadership is forward-thinking. That’s definitely part of the story. The best leaders are always looking over the horizon, seeing what’s ahead and visualizing the best future course of action. That’s just half of the process, though. The great leaders also look back to history. They want to know how things got the way they are and what empirical evidence shows them about possible future courses of action. They look forward while learning from the past.

Enlightened leadership is an honest process.

The best leaders don’t bother stretching the truth, shielding people from uncomfortable realities or otherwise engaging in dishonest behavior. They recognize the role trust plays in leadership and they treat it as something sacred. They know that being honest is the best way to gain respect and to persuade others to follow their lead. There’s no room for dishonesty in enlightened leadership.

Awesome leaders take time to listen.

Communication is an essential aspect of quality leadership. That means that leaders must do a good job of conveying their ideas and messages. That’s not all of what goes into great communication, though. There’s a listening component at play, as well. The very best leaders make time to listen to others. They really pay attention to what’s said and they use that information and opinion as part of their decision making calculus. They’re not insulated and aloof. They’re accessible and they really do make a point of caring about the perspectives of others.

Those three characteristics are definitely among the most significant components of enlightened leadership. It would be a gross oversimplification to claim that anyone exhibiting those three traits was guaranteed to be a fabulous leader, but it isn’t an exaggeration to argue that all good leaders will make a point of looking back and into the future while being honest and accessible.

If you’re sincerely interested in becoming a truly wonderful leader, you’ll note those traits and do everything in your power to make them part of your approach. They’re not sufficient to elevate you to your full potential, but their undoubtedly necessary for anyone who wants to display enlightened leadership skills.

This periodic journal of practical leadership and management tips provides great material about leadership development: http://www.enleadership.com/blog Enlightened leadership is one of many topics you can learn about at this great site.
Article Source: Three Significant Components of Enlightened Leadership

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11 Responses

  1. 1
    Spencer 

    Yes, I completely agree that great leaders must look to the past as an indicator. They should also be looking way past the horizon to the future. A great leader needs to operate from the strength of courage, confidence, and genuine care of the people they lead. If a leader is not connected, those whom they need to follow them will abandon the cause. The leader is sometimes the cheerleader and risk taker first. Thank you for an awesome post.

  2. I agree, great leaders need to look at the past and the future. We cannot forget where we came from. My greatest lessons have not come from books, but from my personal relationships with teachers and my own mistakes. So I constantly have to keep the past at the forefront of my mind while I am moving forward. It can seem like a paradox to look back to look forward, but it is the only real way to lead.

    Thank you for your great post.

    Dr. John Zipp
    http://www.istress.org

  3. 3
    highvoltz 

    I like the way you are writing. I really like the way you express your opinion and thoughts making them easy to follow and learn from. Thanks.

  4. 4
    Personala atlase 

    You have really great taste on catchy article titles, even when you are not interested in this topic you still just have to read it

  5. 5
    Amy 

    Yes, I completely agree that great leaders must look to the past as an indicator. They should also be looking way past the horizon to the future. A great leader needs to operate from the strength of courage, confidence, and genuine care of the people they lead. If a leader is not connected, those whom they need to follow them will abandon the cause. The leader is sometimes the cheerleader and risk taker first. Thank you for an awesome post.

  6. Great post! And, Very true!

  7. 7
    Happiness 

    Yes, great leaders must lead the path for their followers with open communication, and clear vision. Listening is the most essential part of leadership, otherwise, leaders will be isolated from their followers and never get to know the ground realities.

  8. 8
    ashna 

    truly said…….hav fn …

  9. Nice post. I liked how you included looking backwards that this is often neglected in looking at leadership. Properly evaluated experience is the best teacher. I enjoyed reading your site.

  10. 10
    Kevan Hall 

    I think it is important to remember the past and learn from it but not to be trapped in it, sometimes you have to unlearn lessons and go back and try things again.

  11. The concept covers a wider field than self-development or self-help: personal development also includes developing others. This may take place through roles such as those of a teacher or mentor, either through a personal competency (such as the skill of certain managers in developing the potential of employees) or a professional service (such as providing training, assessment or coaching).

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