Good Leadership Skills - Character - Integrity - Courage!
By Gregory Covey with leadership-skills-for-life.com
Welcome to Good Leadership Skills for Life!
This website is dedicated to providing extensive information and numerous examples on the following topics;
Employee Written Warning Letter Examples
Employee Appreciation Letter Examples
All Types of Business Letters Examples
How to Write a Business Plan
Federal and State Labor Laws
Employee Policy Examples
Employee Performance Improvement Plans
Short Leadership Stories
I have found over the years many leaders find it hard to write formal letters on a variety of subject matters.
Good leadership skills require certain traits!
Some are teachable and yet others are a part of a persons character.
It is the character behind the honesty.
As a Marine, leadership and character are the core values that can either make or break you.
Doing one thing and demanding another is simply not acceptable as a Leader! As a Marine it is not an option!
The purpose of this website is to bring real life experiences under a bright light and determine whether they are good leadership skills or not.
You can't expect to have people following you if you plant yourself in an office and bury yourself in paperwork!
My success has come from truly getting to know my staff.
This means that I must invest time in getting to know them.
In my case I take time to go through the facility stopping and talking with them. I don't get too personal. I talk about my children. I talk about my life and if they bring up something about themselves I listen. The next time I pass through I may follow up with them on that.
As a Marine their support and unquestionable belief in me is critical. In a business setting that same support and belief translates into productivity. It creates loyalty.
Integrity, relationships, and communication skills creates loyalty one brick at a time.
Loyalty takes time.
It is not automatic!
Loyalty is different than respect!
I can respect someone but at the same time I can throw them under the bus in a second.
However, loyalty is different. Someone that is loyal will stand behind you and cares about your well being. You must be just as loyal to your staff as you expect them to be to you.
Effective Leadership and leadership types come in many different forms - but they start with you and who you are as a person. They are formed at a very young age - and stay with you for life.
We can only improve upon them - not create them!
Everything from raising our children to how we conduct ourselves in a business environment requires good leadership skills.
As leaders it is necessary to take advantage of every resource available to us in order to become and remain successful. As an example the Performance Management system from SuccessFactors is a great leadership tool for managers as it allows you to easily monitor your employees and guide your team-building exercises.
With that said I hope that you relax and enjoy reading and learning about many parts of my life and how I have applied good leadership skills in all areas of it!
My Dad - a great man - taught me so much about effective leadership.
He told me once - that there are three types of people.
The First Type - You can suggest something needs to be done - and within a short amount of time - they are doing it... and doing it well - someone you can count on. Someone that is a leader!
The Second Type - You can let them know something needs to be done - and within a reasonable amount of time - it gets done - and most of the time - they put some effort into it. A potentially good leader!
The Third Type – You must tell them to do it right now - and in all cases you need to make sure they do it - because if allowed - they will put little or no effort into it. This person will never be a leader!
Good Leadership Skills - Know who your looking for…
My Dad also told me - when your interviewing someone - look for people that bring their lunch box to the interview.
Of course - he didn't mean they should actually bring it with them - well I don't think he meant that!
Nor did he mean you should be looking for hungry people.
He just meant that as far as Leadership types - you should always be looking for aggressive people - calculated risk takers - someone with confidence. Not just someone wanting to collect a paycheck!
Someone that truly wants to work for you - not on their terms - but yours.
Someone that wants your job - and you should not be afraid of that.
Good Leadership Skills - Don’t give up…
I am a strong believer that - you should never give up until every option has been exhausted.
Maybe it is the Marine in me - but quitting is not an option.
Each time you quit at something - it will be a little easier the next time to give up.
Everyone is watching you - your kids - your brothers and sisters - your parents - your friends - your enemies - your employees - your boss - get the picture.
Don’t give up - the brave men and women before us - didn’t - and we have this country and our freedoms to show for it.
Make them proud…
Failure is not an option!
Good Leadership Skills - Integrity starts with you…
Say what you mean! - Mean what you say! They will figure you out real quick if you don’t!
When I say they - I mean everyone - from your kids - to your employees - and everyone in between.
I can tell you one thing for sure - when the Marine Corps or my Dad said something - you could take it to the bank!
Effective leadership is required whether your running a small business - a major corporation - or your daily life!
We all know them - you know the Leadership types I'm talking about - the real leaders. Those individuals in our lives that continually demonstrate good Leadership skills.
We can all do the right thing when it is easy - but I am talking about the person that makes the right decision - even when it seems impossible to do. Like those that stormed the beaches in WWII - or marched into Iraq - those were and are real leaders - all the way down to the lowest in rank.
When the Fire Fighters and the Police ran into the World Trade Centers on September 11th to save lives - now those are your real leaders.
And the teachers that take money out of their own back pockets to pay for school supplies or lunch for the poor child in their classroom that can't afford it - there are your real leaders.
Are you a Leader? Be a Leader!
Everyday - there will be a fork in the road for you to make a decision. Effective Leaders choose the right road - even when it is hard - even when they know they may not return!
Good Leadership Skills Are About Serving
Good leadership skills are more about serving others then imposing their power and authority!
After all a prison guard can impose their power and authority over an inmate but would definitely not be considered a good leader!
So what exactly does the term serving mean when it comes to the workplace?
How does that translate into good leadership skills?
Let's start with the most basic needs of those we want to lead in the workplace.
Maybe we should list a few of them and then go 'from there.
1. To know their job
2. To be appreciated
3. To be respected
4. To have the equipment and supplies to do their job right
5. To be paid on time and the right amount
6. Not to be lied to
7. To be treated fairly
This is just a very short list but I hope you begin to understand where this is leading us to.
So our job as a leader is to serve our employee's so that they receive their most basic needs in the workplace.
Good leadership skills are the skills you need to serve them in a way that will meet those needs.
Sounds simple doesn't it?
Then why do so many so called leaders have such a tough time leading their staff to success?
Because it is much more than following a step by step process!
Have you ever heard a parent, maybe even you, tell their children something like, "After everything I have done for you this is the thanks I get..!"
The parent that says this is going to fail! Most likely fail miserably!
Do you see what they are really saying?
They are saying that if I do this for you I am expecting you to do this for me. The old Quid Pro Quo or This for That!
They are trying to buy their child's compliance!
If I buy you what you want you will be good!
That isn't leading!
That is bargaining!
The only thing you will get in return is a higher and higher price tag to get compliance.
This is only meeting one of your child's needs, immediate gratification, and destroying all the rest of them including their ability to develop good moral values.
So apply this same logic to a leader in the workplace.
If we believe that the only need an employee has in order to do their job right is to get paid we are in for a great big surprise!
Developing good leadership skills that will meet the needs of your employees takes hard work and dedication to them!
Not only addressing and meeting all seven needs listed earlier, but an entire list of needs every employee has!
As I stated earlier there is no step by step process that once completed your employees will sing and dance while doing their jobs in the most excellent way!
No it means serving them daily!
There is no magic wand!
No magic formula!
Put simply it means that you will have to put them first and your needs second!
That is what good leadership skills are all about!
Good Leadership Skills Marine Corps Style!
My experience as a Marine taught me what real leadership is!
In some cases life giving sacrifice!
Unlike a business environment leadership in the Marine Corps means you are responsible for the lives of your Marines!
The fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, children, and friends are all counting on you to take care of their loved one! You better not fail them! You won’t accept failure under any terms!
That's pressure and responsibility!
When you think about every decision you make may cause one of your Marines to come home in a coffin...
When you think about every decision you make may cause one of your Marines to come home in a coffin you are more in touch with each one of them!
You must commit yourself to protecting them while accomplishing your mission for our country!
When you live with your Marines daily and you learn their strengths and weaknesses so that you can call upon the right one to do a job at the right time, there are no acceptable losses that you can sustain!
No not even one!
I have had to deliver more than one message to loved ones of fallen Marines assigned to other leaders and it is not something that I will allow to happen on my watch!
If I have to look one of my Marines in the eye and send them into a Hot Zone I will be confident that they are going to return!
If it does it will only be after I have sacrificed every part of my being to getting them all out alive!
That is what leadership is!
If I have to look one of my Marines in the eye and send them into a Hot Zone I will be confident that they are going to return!
I will have given them the right training and preparation!
I will have given them the right motivation!
I will have them armed with every possible advantage in weaponry!
I will know that they have the inner strength to make it!
Good leadership skills are more than making a profit!
Good leadership skills are more than some step by step process!
Good leadership skills are sacrificial to insure both mission and Marine are taken care of.
No difference than in business. You must keep everything in balance and you will be successful!
Good leadership skills start right in the home. Although I would like to claim that I have those skills I can only let others be the official judge of that. For I can claim to be a leader; however, if no one is following it means absolutely nothing.
Let me start by telling you a story of my life that includes raising four children and being married for almost thirty years. One of our boys was born addicted to cocaine and meth thanks to his biological mother. Today he is nearly twenty-four years old and is totally disabled by a dreaded mental illness called schizophrenia disorder!
Life can seem very unfair at times; however, it is what you do with those challenges that define a leader from a victim!
I offer many topics on leadership; however, I feel the most relevant are my personal experiences with raising my adult son who is crippled by schizophrenia. I can honestly tell you that in some cases I am not proud of the way I acted and the things I did that has brought us to the point where we are today!
I started this by telling you that good leadership skills begin within the place most of us call home, and that is exactly where I am still developing those skills every day of my life while my wife and I do our very best to raise our son. Unless a miracle or some tremendous medical breakthrough occurs he will be with us until we die or he wonders off following some voice in his head and never returns.
The stories of raising our son with schizophrenia disorder are located here. I must warn you that the stories are straight from the heart so may appear harsh at times, but they are a reflection of the pain and challenges we go through on a daily basis. Our hope is it will help others know and understand that are experiencing the same things, as well as, help the general public know that individuals with schizophrenia disorder are real live people also.
It is a mental illness that robs the mind and soul of its victim, in this case our son. This debilitating mental illness also robs those that love that victim as well!
Good leadership skills require much more than those skills obtained from a classroom environment. Even those skills that are passed down from great leaders can only assist someone that already has that special something that not many great leaders have. That something is instinct.
Yes great leaders must have that special instinct that transcends learned skills. It is that instinct that takes over when all the other skills no longer are effective. As someone that spent years in the Marine Corps learning various tactics it is instinct that pulls it all together. Knowing when to push forward, drawback, or hold your ground in those critical battle field decisions where lives are on the line.
In business you can only plan for so much and then instinct takes over. Good leadership skills depend on this inner ability that comes from within someone. That same decision making process to push forward, drawback, or hold your ground applies to business also. Should you invest more or hold the line on your current course of action. Sometimes the leadership classes just can’t make those types of decisions for you.
Does everyone have what it takes to be great leaders? Maybe! You know you have what it takes when everyone else is trying to find the “eject button” and your just starting to get warm up. You run to problems when everyone else is running from them. You run into the burning building and everyone else is running out. That is what good leadership skills are.
However, when running to those problems, or into that burning building your instincts are leading you in a way that is smart and not just blindly running into a death wish. You seem to have an immediate plan what isn’t found in a book somewhere. You have what it takes. That is Good Leadership Skills
If we examine one position that exemplifies what true good leadership is it would have to be a Sheppard. I know it sounds so ridiculous, but it’s true. The responsibility it takes to be a good Sheppard requires all the good leadership skills one needs to be a great leader.
So what skills are required to be a Sheppard?
Well in order to watch over any size flock it will require the Sheppard to provide the basic elements to sustain life, which are safety, water, and food. Yes, sheep need to be protected from predators that will attack, kill, and then eat them. This requires the Sheppard to be brave and skilled in the art of protecting the flock against any type of vicious animal, such as, wolves, lions, bears, and many others. Remember back in the day when the job of being a Sheppard was still popular they didn’t have automatic weapons. They had to defend their flocks with their staff, sling shots, or their bare hands.
In today’s world good leadership skills include protecting our staff against losing their jobs. This means we must train them to be productive and follow the rules. We must also manage in a way that insures the business remains financially sound. This requires a good leader to continually improve their skills so that when they need it they can implement it. Just like the Sheppard that must continually practice using the staff or sling shot as a weapon, a leader must practice their good leadership skills.
The fact is that if leaders began to care more about their employees than themselves they would be much more successful. Like the Sheppard who puts his flock before himself, whether it was to fight off a predator or work to find food and water. The Sheppard understood that putting his flock first always resulted in the success of himself and his flock both. The moment he didn’t the flock was at risk.
The exact same is true in business. A selfish leader may see immediate, but very temporary success. The reason for this is the trust factor. As soon as a member of the team doesn’t trust their leader the team is doomed for failure.
A prime example of a successful Sheppard that went on to be a very successful leader was King David.
Good leadership skills are essential to succeed in life. A good leader will always be a highly successful person in life, and he or she will have quite a following behind them. There are people willing to follow than to lead. 80% of the people in the world would rather follow someone else than learning good leadership skills and leading from the front. This article will highlight a few of the qualities that will make a good leader.
Honesty is one of the foremost essential skills in becoming a good leader. A leader must be honest in leading his or her team. Whether it is in business, politics or any other field, the quality of the team will depend on the leader's honesty. The followers will be looking to emulate you as a leader, and if you are not honest, you cannot expect them to be honest.
You may have thousands of good ideas in your head, but if you can't communicate it to your followers well, then there is definitely going to be a problem down the line. If this is your case, you must think of improving your communication skills without further delay. Being able to succinctly and clearly describe what you want done is extremely important in order to become a successful leader.
Ability to Delegate -
A leader cannot do all things by themselves. He should trust his team and delegate a part of his work to the team. If you cannot trust your team, then you will never progress to the next level as a leader. Delegating tasks to the appropriate people are one of the most essential skills of a leader. Identifying the special abilities of the team members is also important in order to delegate work properly.
Even though there are many qualities contained within good leadership skills, the above mentioned are in the forefront of all those qualities.
Three Essential Good Leadership Skills?
We would all like to believe that we have what it takes to be a good leader and that we have good leadership skills. The truth is that very few people are natural born leaders. Leadership is a skill that in almost all cases has been developed.
How do we go about developing such skills and becoming a good leader? The first step is to define the most desirable good leadership skills out there. Once we have done this we are free to go about developing them personally.
In this day and age most people will do anything and step on anybody in order to succeed. That is not what a person with good leadership skills will do! In a world where lies seem to be preferred over the truth, most people are surprised to learn that honesty is the most desired and important skill that a good leader can develop.
When your team sees that you are honest, they will almost always follow your example. The results are amazing when a team is honest and straightforward with each other. This will result in the output and general attitude of the whole team being increased!
Another surprise to many is that the ability to delegate is also very important. Most think of a good leader as someone that does everything. It is true that a good leader should be capable of filling in any task, however, he should make it a practice to delegate whenever possible. This will free him up and allow him to oversee everything smoothly.
Communication is the third skill that we will mention here. A good leader needs to be able to communicate clearly and in a confident matter. It is only in this way that he can keep his team in line and making the best use of their time.
Develop and apply these three good leadership skills and you will be amazed by the results!
Thank you and may God Bless you!
Additional Articles | Autocratic Leadership – What Is It and Will It Work? | Staying Focused - The Qualities of Good Leadership Skills | Discrimination | Employee Code of Conduct | Employee Rights in the Workplace | Employee Training Development | Common Interview Questions | What is Leadership | Legal Form Information | Planning For Retirement | Supervisory Training | Executive Coaching Training | Leadership Management Training
My Boss Has Good Leadership Skills
I have worked at a few companies and I never felt attached to them. My bosses acted as if we were their minions and that killed the morale in the office. My current boss has good leadership skills and that makes me feel connected to the company. He listens just as much as he speaks and he implements ideas that we give him. I have not been working here for very long, but I can see myself having a long history with this company. Several of the other managers in the company seem to work the same way.