Four Essential Leadership Qualities

We witness good and bad leadership qualities everywhere from our families and organized sport to the workplace.  I learned from my first good boss as a camp counselor twenty plus years ago. Today, my co-workers and I wish our mentor and former staff director, Shawn Taylor Kaminski, congratulations and best wishes on her new opportunity as she leaves the American Bar Association after 25 years of dedicated service.

Shawn Taylor Kaminski

Shawn Taylor Kaminski

I have had the privilege to work with different bosses such as Shawn and co-workers who demonstrate good examples as  successful and happy working moms. They epitomize essential leadership qualities:  positive attitude, communication, trust and confidence. Those qualities lead the way to success.

1) Positive attitude. Regardless of the 2009 economic crisis and staff turnover, Shawn’s calming presence and can-do perspective set an empowering tone. A boss who genuinely says “thank you” makes their team feel appreciated so they want to work their hardest.

2) Communication. Good leaders clearly convey what they expect, which sometimes requires patience and repetition. An open door policy helps to clarify priorities so everyone works smartly. We need to strategically drive our own goals. Sometimes that means scheduling lunch with a superior or someone you admire to brainstorm how to achieve what you want.

3) Confidence. You must exude confidence in order for others to want to follow. If you're unsure, fake it with a smile and no one will know!  More than ever, I catch myself not standing up straight now that I'm often tired with two babes under three. I try to roll my shoulders back and look to feel more in control.

4) Trust. Good managers trust their team with their vision to grow their brand. They ensure each individual builds on their strengths and does what they enjoy most through ownership of at least one initiative to grow. That also reaffirms strong team work.

What leadership qualities do you admire?

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