The recent actions of politicians can never be described as leadership

Over the course of the last several weeks we have witnessed a comprehensive display of what leadership is NOT by our elected officials at all levels across all party lines. I have had the opportunity to observe, work for and learn from some great business leaders. I also worked for some (not many fortunately), who held a leadership “title” on an organization chart but had no clue about what it takes to be a real leader. They were an “empty suit”. They looked good, but there was no substance.

Over the last few weeks, we have seen an epidemic of “empty suits” posing as political leaders (Is political leader a conflicting use of words?) standing behind a podium and microphone offering us “their” explanation of what is wrong (actually what they offered were simple excuses; complex excuses and, well…excuses!).

As a result of this display of drama and missteps and artificially created chaos, I thought a leadership exorcism would be appropriate just in case (and I repeat “just in case”) any of you thought that what you have been witnessing was “legitimate” leadership actions.

1. Leaders know they are judged not by what they say but by what they do – simply stated, leaders value actions over words. They know that they must lead by example. There is no place for verbal boasting or bullying. Leaders know that talk is cheap and that the right action, at the right time gets things done.

2. Leaders define reality and responsibilities – Leaders see the world as it really is and “tell it like it is” to their teams. When a leader talks about the current reality there should be no “sugar coating” or omission of key facts. They know that one cannot move to a better place until they know and define the place they are in – in the most specific and honest way possible. Why? Because important decisions needed to move forward will be based upon the current reality.

3. Leaders set expectations; hold people accountable to get the job done and accept responsibility for their actions– Leaders know that their primary role is to make things happen! The most basic responsibility of every leader is to set expectations - expectations that are clear, specific and measurable – not instructions like “Hey you guys go do that and let me know when you’re finished”. People perform best; are the most satisfied, when they see themselves making progress. In holding people accountable, a leader monitors what they are doing; offers assistance when needed and acknowledges and helps them see their progress. A leader is never an absentee manager. That’s called “abdication” and real leaders never do this – they accept responsibility. They know that accepting responsibility is what they get paid to do.

Quote: “Leadership is not a title; a perk or the corner office. Leadership encompasses the right actions, trust, integrity, courage, a genuine concern for the well being of your team and of course “grit” – Chris Ruisi – The Coach

Author's Bio: 

Chris Ruisi is an author, experienced executive / business coach as well as accomplished leadership/business motivational speaker. He mentors and guides executives and business leaders to find their “stretch” point to learn the full measure of their capabilities.” Chris understands how leadership works, how organizations work, how power works, and how decision making works. Known as a popular blogger, and sought after speaker, he has also created an extensive video library on YouTube. Through this work, he has created a community of entrepreneurs, executives, and business leaders who understand the importance of being able to Step Up, and Play Big