Good leadership is the art of convincing others to care about the common good. Leaders don’t need titles, strong charisma or force of will. They need a mindset of service toward others, personal integrity and the desire to help others succeed. Everyone can be a good leader, if they choose to put the interests of others ahead of their own.
Strategic leadership is thoughtful and deliberate. Strategic leaders consider all options by consulting others and weighing different perspectives. One option that is frequently overlooked is the choice to wait and not take immediate action. To be able to uncover important viewpoints and receive honest advice, leaders need to create a safe environment for discussion and allow individuals to criticize freely. Leaders need to create a culture that prevents others from intimidating or dominating other members of the group.
Even though leaders consider different perspectives, they need to ultimately think independently and objectively. Courageous leaders are willing to sacrifice personal popularity for the long-term benefit of the group.
Decisions need to be accompanied by direct, specific and focussed communication. Leaders can explain why a path is being taken in a succinct manner. Leaders deliver difficult news promptly and unambiguously. Honest communication is compassionate and respectful.
Networked leadership rallies others to work toward a common cause. These types of leaders listen to others, remix ideas and convince collaborators by showing how working together advances everyone's interests. Even small progress is meaningful, because it builds trust, which helps to advance future activities.