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Be a Leader in 2021

Through the years I've been fortunate enough to meet and work with many interesting people; politicians, celebrities, business owners, leaders of industry and civic organizations... From big cities to small towns, I've learned the most successful among them have similar traits that make them--and most importantly keep them--good, successful leaders.

Outside of the obvious leadership traits, like being able to hold your ground, being able to take a shot, and knowing when to cut your losses, great leaders stay great leaders by leading instead of taking. It's a difficult concept to understand - and it's the only way a leader can stay a leader once he or she reaches success. There are many people who reach the higher levels of success only to be corrupted by power and begin taking instead of leading.

...focused on growth...

A good leader surrounds him- or herself with people in a position to question the leader's actions. A leader spends his or her day trying to correct courses and actions. A leader takes criticism in stride and examines it for truth. A leader doesn't complain or gossip about other people or competitors--she or he is simply too focused on growth and ways to improve.

A leader surrounds him- or herself with people who are experts in their field and helps them become greater experts. A leader would die before anyone under his or her charge unjustly feared for his job. A leader sees an obstacle as an opportunity. A leader is compassionate. A bad leader spends the day covering things up and pointing toward others to blame for shortcomings.

...the closer you get to Caesar... the more you have to fear.

I'm not saying you can't be a jerk, or a bad leader and be successful. Many bad leaders manage to succeed through dirty deals, dirty business, nepotism and the good-old-boys club. But as all corrupt Caesars of the world learn very quickly, the closer you get to Caesar (and his unearned success), the more you have to fear. And like all corrupt Caesars, politicians, business owners... they find out sooner rather than later that taking instead of leading is a losing proposition in the end.

So be a good leader in 2021. It will pay off in the end on many levels, and you'll sleep better at night.

t. smugala


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