There are a lot of qualities that are important for leadership including but not limited to honesty, confidence, and communication among others. A lot of people become managers and leaders before they are ready. They get promoted, and thrown up the ladder — being groomed for the next step. But do they possess what it takes? Are they good managers? Just because they’re smart does not mean they possess what it takes to be a manager. A leader. Someone who has the power to move people.
A true leader (in my opinion) has a balance between kindness and toughness. Someone who knows when to throw down, but to deliver the message without being a jerk. To be forceful with what needs to be done, without turning people off. Demonstrating confidence in the situation without cockiness. Being kind when needed, without seeming weak. Being gentle without seeming powerless.
The balance is key.
The balance shows power. A leadership balance which makes strong managers. Strong mentors. And leads not only groups of people but companies into better places. Those are the leaders that people remember when they leave and move on.
To this day, I remember the leaders and mentors that have impacted my career – and they each had a balance of kindness and toughness. They knew how and when to use it. They never appeared weak or bullish. They knew how to empower their teams with the same confidence, so they themselves may possess it one day.
That is a leader I want to be. That is a leader, I will always remember.