This post highlights three rare leadership virtues that characterize most admired and highly effective leaders. We do not normally attach these virtues or behavioral characteristics to strong leaders in the business world.
Yet in my opinion, these virtues distinguish the most admired and most successful leaders who can generate and sustain results through their people. These three virtues are inherent characteristics of servant leaders.
1) The leadership virtue of PATIENCE
Servant leaders are patient leaders. They use patience to assess and understand a situation, get adequate perspective, and ultimately decide on the best approach to handle various situations. Patient leaders respond rather than react. They are not impulsive, aggressive, or shortsighted. Patient leaders are visible, available, and easily accessible to their people. By default, patient leaders are empathic and effective listeners.
2) The leadership virtue of HUMILITY
Servant leaders demonstrate humility in action, and this does not weaken their authority at all. On the contrary, this explains why they are respected, appreciated, and esteemed. Humility in action entails admitting not having all the answers, soliciting feedback from others, encouraging people to fail and learn from their mistakes as well as celebrating others' accomplishments before their own. The virtue of humility allows leaders not to be trapped down in their positional power.
3) The leadership virtue of HELPING AND SUPPORTING OTHERS
Servant leaders do their best to remove obstacles from their people's path. That is why they show 'compassion' which could be defined as 'walking a mile in another person's shoes'. This virtue is invaluable when it comes to coaching others for higher performance and providing all the resources to grow and develop people.
Reverend Desmond Tuto of South Africa (Noble prize recipient) was asked once by CNN what is the essence of leadership? His answer was very simple; "it is all about serving others".
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