13 Essential Qualities Every Leader Needs.
(How your body parts explain leadership)
1- Eyes: (Vision). Do you have a clear sense of direction for your organization? Have your people embraced that vision? Leading people with no clear vision is like taking people on a ride with no destination in mind.
2- Nose: (Sensitivity) How sensitive are you to winds of change in your industry? Can you pick the scent of opportunity or danger from afar? Leaders must be sensitive to what's happening in their environment or industry so they can alter the sails of their organization to seize the winds of opportunity or stir away from the storms of danger.
3- Mouth (Communication)- It's not enough that a leader has a vision, that vision must be well communicated to the people. And also the purpose, mission, core values, and down to day-to-day operations of the organization.
In the words of Leadership Guru, Michael Hyatt, "A leader’s communication is the compass of the organization. It keeps everyone oriented and moving toward the right goals. Communication is a critical factor in team alignment. And team alignment is a critical factor in hitting organizational goals.
People can’t read your mind. Leaders should speak up and speak often. Even if you think you’ve said it before, it probably bears repeating. People forget or get distracted, therefore important things need to be repeated again and again."
4- Ears (Listening): How in touch are you with what's going on within the organization? How often do you take time to hear your people- hear not just their words, but their hearts? Do you listen to feedback, criticism, or suggestions? Do you listen at all?
One of the first duties of a leader is to listen to the heart of the people— their concerns, hopes, and fears for the organization and themselves, and then we listen with an open heart and without judging.
Unfortunately, a lot of leaders only learn to listen after the people have left them.
5- Neck (Courage): Ability to stick up your neck for what is right even when it is not easy. Courage isn't a show of bravado or doing heroic things others run from- courage is doing the right thing even when you're afraid, or when it's difficult or unpopular or it could make people look down on you or bring some rejection.
Courage is doing the right for your people at the cost of losing great money, reputation, approval from your superiors, or admiration from your followers.
6- Chest (Care 💓)- Do you truly care for your team? Does your heart beat for them? Are you committed to their growth and success?
7- Hands (Action/Competence), a leader must be big in execution, even in the face of obstacles. It's not just about planning and strategy, execution and competence are critical. A leader must be able to drive the organization to get the right things done. He/She should have the competence to get the people/organization where they need to be
8- Stomach- you must be able to stomach somethings, it's not everything you get upset about or every remark that you reply to. Don't sweat the small stuff. Know what's a priority and focus on that.
You should constantly feed yourself with the right knowledge (always learning) and think deeply (digest) on what you learn and find ways to apply it to your organization.
9- Buttocks (Get the bad out): Let toxic thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and people out of your life- even if that person is a close friend or family. In your leadership, this may mean letting go of someone that has become toxic to the organization.
10- Waist (Values & Identity)- Your center, it’s the part that connects the lower and upper body. It’s your values, which inform your principles, which form your identity. Your values and identity are your center. They hold up every other thing and they keep you upright. Choose the right values, and build yourself and your organization around the right values, culture, and identity.
12- Knees- Kneel before God in prayer and worship. Be led by your King, and then lead others.
13- Legs- Step out (of your comfort zone), do things, be audacious, and conquer new territories for your King, your people and those you serve.
There's something to note here. The legs are the last thing. It's preferable when you start making big, bold audacious moves, when you have the 12 previous traits—when you've got your eyes (vision) on the right thing, your heart in the right place, your waist well grounded in the right identity and knees bowed in submission to God for directions.
Or else you may make giant strides in the wrong direction or with the wrong method and in the end you'll have achieved nothing really important, to God.
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Hi. I'm Dipo. I write, speak and train on interpersonal/softskills, teenagers, emotional healing, and overcoming fear, failure, shame, rejection, and other self-limiting obstacles to your progress.
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