Take a moment and list your own life heroes. Who do you most admire? Who have been your mentors? What figures have most influenced your life? What bosses or professors or teachers taught you the most? The qualities in each of these people will probably be similar, and they are the qualities of true leaders:
1. They are concise, not wordy or chatty.
2. They are principled, holding themselves and others to a clear standard.
3. They are focused on their goals, consistent and predictable – not scattered or flighty.
4. They are as kind and fair as they are strict.
This is a good list. What is most interesting about it, however, is that I find that these same leadership qualities play out in all social animal groups: people, cows, horses and dogs! Isn’t that fascinating? The same qualities that I observed in Bessy the Cow, I saw in my mother and father. I’ve seen them in many of my dogs through the years. I saw these qualities in Mrs. C., my High School English teacher, who taught me more about how to focus, meet deadlines, think deeply and work hard than any other person in my life. If we follow a faith, we will also recognize these qualities in the spiritual leaders that we worship or follow.
Think about it.