7 Key Concepts for Contemporary Leaders

Few people would argue that leadership is something that is needed in every aspect of public life.  For some people, the important concepts of leadership can often be difficult to grasp. Perhaps it is a lack of mentoring or modeling that causes hesitancy in people to act in a leadership capacity.  Another problem could be simply not having the understanding of what is expected of a leader in business or organizations.  Here are seven key concepts every effective leader must capture to be most influential. 

1. Effective behavior: As stated above a lack of role models acting in a leadership role in communities, business and organizations is a problem for many people. A leader is willing to behave in a manner that exemplifies the values purported by the mission statement of the organization. This behavior should be consistent over time and promote high ethical standards for others in the organization to model. 

2. Stand for Something. A leader makes his or her choices obvious to those around them.  That is, the leader stands for something.  The old saying is that if you don’t stand for something, you fall for anything.  By standing for choices with a solid foundation, a leader demonstrates how to maintain standards and how to come to a good decision. 

3. Works With Others.  A leader must be able to work with everyone including the person with the worse personality or the person that never speaks up in a meeting.  Leaders lead so others are inspired to be better.  Without the ability to get along with others, organizational goals will be hindered.  A leader gets past petty surface issues and deals with people at all levels in ways that bring about, and maintain, harmony. 

4. Unites others.  Not only do leaders work well with other but they inspire others to work well with each other. Leaders have the ability to unite colleagues around a common vision.  That means having the ability to communicate so diverse listening audiences understand what the future of an organization will look like and have the desire to be a part of that future by uniting their talents with others. 

5. Influences Stakeholders. Organization stakeholders are people that have some type of vested interest in the success of an organization.  An effective leader is responsible to ensure that stakeholders understand the operating direction of the organization and they are supportive of the activities within the organization.  That means sharing the vision, mission, goals and priorities with the stakeholders so they can be a part of the organizations movement.   

6. Stays Committed. A leader grows in levels of trust and respect by those they influence by being committed to stated goals, no matter the cost. This commitment is to organization goals, to the people the leader leads, to getting through difficulties, and from not backing down from challenges.  Leaders are not blame-throwers.  When something goes wrong they are willing to face the difficulties and shoulder the blame as needed while working continually to find a solution to the problem. By being committed, the leader inspires commitment from others. 

7.  Futurists.  Leaders are the ultimate futurists. Never satisfied to stay in the status quo, the leader can see a better future then makes strategic plans to reach it with the backing of loyal followers. A leader is not complacent.  They capture an innate creativity that lets them form plans to move forward, never being totally satisfied with a situation at hand while a problem still exists. 

While these seven practices are not all encompassing to leadership, they provide a good frame for what to expect of a leader.  If you are a leader in your organization or business, expect to be a life-long learner of people and organizations.  Others will expect you to boldly take a stand so they can feel confident to follow where you lead.