Not all leaders are in actual designated “leadership positions.” We have the opportunity to be a high quality leader every day, in whatever capacity the day calls for, whether it is with those in our same household or with business people worldwide.

Good leaders have the ability to lead and follow. They are visionaries. Everyone can have a vision, no matter what position they hold. They can influence individuals to “do” something. They have a high sense of integrity and use wisdom in their decision making. Leaders are not always popular and that can be difficult at times but for the sake of the greater good they hold their ground and not allow themselves to make decisions they know are not right. Leadership also means being humble enough to make corrections when making a wrong turn.

Critical leadership characteristics are the ability to be results-focused and still give a warm word of support; to operate with a focus that incorporates their mind and their heart in decision-making and problem resolution. They show a willingness to let go of biases and positions to acknowledge other possibilities; to create space/environments of inclusion and acceptance; and think of themselves as resources and not “Bosses”.

Leadership Strategies & Outcomes: The impact of Leader has no bounds! An ancient quote from Phillip II of Macedon still holds true today: “An army of deer led by a lion(esse) is more to be feared than an army of lions led by a deer.” Why? A lion(esse) is involved, firm and confident, and scouts new opportunities for provisions. They take position for battle AND they take care of their own. Deer are peaceful, passive and run away when frightened.

Strong leaders listen to staff. Take this simple test to check your listening skills. At the end of your week, write three things – learned from employees that week. Examples: insight about customers, is there a better way to handle a process, or reasons why a project didn’t work? There is so much to learn from employees. If you can’t list at least three things per week, you may not be listening carefully enough.

Nurture and Inspire: You can be a great leader without degrading others as you move forward, in your career, or as a leader or coach. Always be mindful of other people’s feelings and to never jump to conclusions about their behavior. No one may know what challenge they may be dealing with.

Positive Influence: We all have a need for a sense of belonging and do things that make people feel included. Leaders let others know that they are valued members of the team. Female leaders are particularly talented at helping their employees feel like they belong. Talk to each employee as a human with needs, emotions and goals. Develop an other-person mindset. Begin looking for ways to include others. Caring means a genuine concern for others that can create a more productive work atmosphere.

Author's Bio: 

Rita Rocker is a national speaker, international author, communications and image specialist, and career coach with Transformation Academy, LLC. She is the author of A Guide to Marketing Yourself for Success, and a contributing author to The Unstoppable Woman's Guide to Emotional Well Being(from Self-conscious to Self-confident), and Total Leadership for Men and Women. She has appeared on national television and radio talk shows on self-esteem and communication. Rita is a former Mrs. Nebraska and Mrs. America contestant. She is President of the greater Omaha chapter of Speakers,Publishers & Authors Association. Rita provides life and career-transforming programs to women, men and mature teens. These highly effective tools empower individuals to become more accomplished communicators,gain greater confidence in business and social protocol, project a dynamic professional image, acquire the resources for a more successful career, and gain the ability to confidently speak in front of others