Top Ten Traits of Humanistic Leaders

I was complaining about governmental leadership being bad leadership. I was asked - how I define good leadership. What follows, in no particular order, is my top 10 list of traits a good humanistic leader should have/exhibit:

Compassionate: If you don’t care – you won’t care to be ethical

Tactful: Everyone has issues – a good leader knows how to work around those issues to get the work done.

Rational: If what you want people to do doesn’t make sense – then you aren’t a good leader.

Strategic: Knowing which battles are important and which ones aren’t – help you deploy resources effectively to you can achieve your goals.

Responsible: The only thing worse than an uncaring leader is one who doesn’t follow through on promises.

Conscientious:  Working hard and making sure that every member of the team has what they need to get the job done is important.

Critical thinker: Being able to tell truth from lies is necessary. Otherwise you may lead your team off course.

Inclusive: Good leaders know that every member of their team is there for a reason and has something valuable to contribute. They know their team knows things they don’t and they make sure to get that input so that the decisions being made are well informed.

Confident: Insecure leaders are horrible to work with because instead of fixing problems, they spend their time trying not to get blamed for problems. There is a big difference. Most people want to fix problems – not provide cover for incompetent idiots.

Humble: Knowing you might be wrong helps ensure that you take the time to make good decisions and not just expedient ones.

How do you go about developing these traits? Practice. You have to prioritize being compassionate in order to remind yourself to be compassionate when you are stressed or making decisions.  You have to ask yourself – what is the compassionate thing to do. It’s the same with all of these traits. It’s a choice – which then gets manifested in behavior through practice. Over time, these traits become second nature.

To get started, chose one trait and start reminding yourself to practice it and when you fail, think through what you might have done differently if you had actively chosen to exemplify that trait and then next time – do better.

If you want to learn more about Humanistic Management - check out my courses at Humanist Learning Systems: The Principles of Humanistic Management

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