12 Culture Traits from the Masters of Leadership

Leadership is often defined as a set of skills or attributes possessed by a person known as “the leader.” Accordingly, leadership development is treated as if it were a solo act. But it’s not. There can be no leadership without other people. There also can be no leaders created without leaders of leaders…these are Masters of Leadership.

Masters of Leadership know the secret to their leadership success is not written in this article, it is not in seminars, books or audio programs. It is locked away in their employees, in their minds and hearts. To access this information you need tools and tactics to help you get to understand their criteria and then connect with their minds, touch their hearts and do this with congruence to fully engage employees. 

During a coaching session with Kevin, a leader of a mid-sized organization, I asked the question:

“How would you know you were a good leader?”

He replied, “Have a compelling vision and then inspire and empower the team to achieve it.”

“Whose criteria are those?” I asked

“Mine, I suppose” he replied.

“What are the criteria of your team members, what do you need to be doing so they would consider you a good team leader?”

“Not so sure, probably the same as mine.”

“Would you like to find out?”

“OK.”

When we flushed out the team’s criteria, we found many differences. Criteria that were important to some were not to others. Kevin was surprised that some did not want their hearts won – that concept
had little meaning for them. Others did not want their minds won. As the discussion went on amongst the team, it became clear what a difficult job Kevin had if he was to meet the criteria of his team members and be accepted by all as a ‘good’ leader. Things became even more complicated when we flushed out the criteria of the person Kevin reports to and his criteria for considering Kevin a good team leader.

It seems we cannot universalize on what makes a good leader, on why minds and hearts are won. Leadership and employee engagement, it would appear, is person specific. What is critical to one employee will not be for another. What is takes to engage one employee will not work for another. Some employees are turned off by the outgoing, dynamic, high energy, charismatic style of leadership. There are ‘quiet’ leaders in the workplace who have genuine followers making real differences and excel at employee engagement.

What do the Masters of Leadership Do?

Leadership, as viewed by those that are regarded as having Leadership Mastery do not recognize leadership as being a skill possessed by a leader. The leader of leaders recognizes that leadership is complex and that it is difficult for one person to be ‘getting it right’ for his employees no matter how many leadership courses he has attended. He encourages people to view leadership as a partnership and to take responsibility with him for leading and being led. They jointly are responible for employee engagement.

12 Traits of the Master Leaders’ Work Culture

If you have had the opportunity to experience Leadership Masters at work you will find some common characteristics in the work cultures they co-develop with their employees. Masters of Leadership are a rare breed of individual that are followed by others, no matter where they may go. In these work cultures you will find:

1. A culture where people are open, welcome feedback and connect with each others’ needs.
2. Employees take ownership for their issues.
3. He leads by infection rather than fear.
4. He is able to motivate and move audiences, often in ‘quiet’ ways.
5. He manages relationships rather than people.
6. He will speak the truth skillfully and respectfully.
7. He welcomes feedback.
8. He builds bridges not barriers.
9. You will find that people smile when he walks into the room rather than when he leaves the room.
10. The leader knows when to be charismatic and when to be quiet.
11. He knows when to be directive and when to be consultative.
12. Through his fluency of styles he will always be growing worth.

Growing the worth of the individual makes good human sense and it also makes good business sense. High self-esteem is the fuel for performance and innovation. The leader provides high-grade fuel, which results in outstanding performance. In these ways, the people and the business become an appreciating asset. This is his measure of success.

If building leadership mastery and a leadership culture is of interest to you, then you will not want to miss getting your copy of the ebook 7 Keys to Employee Engagement…get your copy now.

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