What Makes a Leader Good?

Effective, steadfast leadership is more important than ever, now that multiple paradigms have shifted in the federal landscape. We need the people who are making impactful decisions that shape our collective futures to be good leaders — to affect positive, transformative, and sustainable change. We can recognize them by their common characteristics. They…

  • Demonstrate Agility – Develop flexibility and adapt quickly to changing paradigms and unfamiliar circumstances.
  • Communicate Effectively – Meet strategic objectives, improve morale, and shape agency culture by modeling effective communication.
  • Display Courage – Speak up, pitch new ideas, provide feedback, and flag concerns to help move things in the right direction.
  • Delegate Opportunities – Give team members a chance to grow, facilitate teamwork, provide autonomy, and make better decisions by delegating.
  • Be Empathetic – Show up for and listen to the challenges and concerns of team members to establish and maintain positive workplace culture.
  • Show Gratitude – Improve self-esteem and sleep while reducing depression and anxiety – just a few of the multiple benefits of a simple “thank you.”
  • Exert Influence – Inspire others with authenticity and transparency. Apply your emotional intelligence to influence others appropriately and effectively.
  • Exhibit Integrity – Emphasize the importance of honesty and integrity at every level of your organization.
  • Know Themselves – Let your strengths and weaknesses inform your personal and professional development goals through humility and self-awareness.
  • Show Respect – Ease tensions and conflict, create trust, and improve effectiveness by forming alliances and ensuring a positive cultural climate.

Although every good leader may not possess every one of these qualities, they all can be developed over time with some combination of training, job experience, and the support of mentors and coaches. Management Concepts and the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) collaborate on unique leadership learning experiences designed specifically for the federal space. We are joining our comprehensive line-up of unique leadership courses, available only through Management Concepts. This post is adapted from an article published by the Center for Creative Leadership.

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