It remains one of my favorite leadership quotes to this day.
“A lot can happen when you have an insecure leader. None of it very good.”
That bit of leadership wisdom has helped to guide my leadership for years, and formed the basis of this blog post, “The 5 Classic Signs of an Insecure Leader”. In that conversation, the focus was on the first indicators you might encounter when you’re dealing with an insecure leader.
But while it’s true that insecurity often leads to a leadership train wreck, even more important is to know what it looks like when a secure leader arrives on the scene. Because when a leader is truly secure and grounded, teams respond and plans move forward.
So what does secure leadership look like?
Secure leaders make the tough decisions
When a difficult decision must be made, secure leaders don’t worry about which decision will make them look good, or look bad. When the stakes are high they don’t concern themselves with popularity.
They do what needs to be done.
Secure leaders invite, and expect honest feedback
Secure leaders surround themselves with people who will give them the straight goods. No sugar-coating. They know that, in leadership, “facts are your friends”.
And because they are secure, they can handle the truth.
Secure leaders are uncommonly courteous
One of the surest indicators of a secure, confident leader is found in how they extend heartfelt courtesy in every situation. This is not a leadership “style”; it is a reflection of authentic humility.
And such humility flows out of security.
Secure leaders relate to everyone equally
The more secure the leader, the more comfortable they are relating to everyone from CEO’s to maintenance staff. They don’t hide in the “C suite”. They make a point of engaging with every member of the team.
They don’t need their sense of worth determined by interacting only with the upper echelons.
Secure leaders keep their cool
Secure leaders seem utterly unflappable. Oh, they will feel pressure as much as anyone else. But because their focus is on the needs of the organization, not their personal interests, that pressure doesn’t translate into panic.
So where does security in leadership come from? It comes from knowing that leadership is not about you. It’s about those you lead.
Embrace that perspective. Because a lot of good can happen when you have a security in your leadership.