Word from Rita | How to Become & Remain a Leader


Some leaders appear because they were fortunate enough to work and learn from other leaders. Leaders arrive from developing a small business and over the years evolve into fine leaders. Some leaders emerged through life difficulties and trying times. There are common characteristics that leaders should try to achieve.

The first thought that comes to mind is no one is perfect, ever. Leaders make mistakes and when that occurs within your company’s leadership, the leader needs to admit the mistake. It is certainly a sobering act to do at times when the mistake was a big one. Little mistakes are simple mistakes bit if it’s a doozy of a mistake, admit it, make the correction and leave it alone. Your associates will think more of you, their leader, for being honest about your mistake.

Loyalty to your colleagues, team and staff is paramount. You should always go to bat for your employees, team members of associates. When a negative comment is made about a member of your group, the leader does not agree, the leader does not gossip, the leader will go directly to the source and get facts. If the facts bear out that the team member has a deficiency, the leader and team member will discuss it privately. I’ve always believe in “critique privately, praise publicly” with staff. If a team member has a great suggestion or accomplishes a feat, credit is always given to the team member. The leader would never take credit for something she did not accomplish. The leader is generous with “good work” comments. Compliments made in public go a lot further than those made in private.

Leaders don’t need to impress their staff by talking over them or under them. This means when writing and talking the communications should be in simple terms for better understanding of the information. Most believe the world reads, understands and absorbs on an 8th grade level. Plain words and simple notes do not make the leader look uneducated but using larger words incorrectly certainly does make the leader look silly.

“For whom much is given, much is expected”. This biblical statement means different things to different people. JFK used it in his speeches as a guide to the American people for wealth sharing. A leader of a company who has great people working for them shows their thankfulness of the associates and team members by being a generous boss and leader. Generosity is a must for a happy work environment. Generosity does not mean only monetary generosity but also encompasses time, positive comments, help, training and focused attention.

“Walk the walk, talk the talk” is another mantra that holds true for leaders. A leader must look like a leader in dress, manners, and conversations. One may look awesomely professional but if the first few statements out of the leader’s mouth are disenchanting, the leader has lost credibility. first impressions are important but following up the first impression with a solid core of values, ethics and honesty are the long-term expectations of someone in leadership.

Be interested in the other person. telling associates about your interests, family, trips, purchases and promotions sends a message that you as the leader are self-centered and self-absorbed. Remember your team’s stories about their interests, their families and their trips. Then always inquire about their current trip, family achievement or interest that they had previously shared with you.

The leader should always be leading the way with current information concerning the subject matter that binds the company, group, team or associates together. This means that the leader is always learning and educating their self. Taking time away from the present tasks at hand to contemplate growth, direction and current data are mandatory for informed approaches in leadership directions.

When you think of people whom you emulate or admire, the true bottom line is they were probably “very nice”. Being a leader who has a steady temperament and is genuinely kind will be rewarded by associates who are loyal and dependable.

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