Strength in leadership really matters. It’s what keeps a team on task, it’s what keeps momentum building, and it’s what prevents distractions from veering a movement off course.
But actually defining what strength really looks like is one of the most misunderstood qualities in all of leadership.
One of my first jobs out of college saw me working for someone with a reputation as being a legendary strong leader. He was a bigger-than-life personality; the kind of person who would change the dynamics of any gathering the moment he walked into the room.
But less than a month into my employment I was with him in a meeting during which he told a blatant lie. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This flagrant untruth seemed to be at such odds with the reputation of this person I had heard was such a “strong leader”. That moment, decades ago, was one of the first times I realized that true strength had little to do with personality or charisma.
But having the remarkable fortune to have rubbed shoulders with many truly admirable leaders, I have come to recognize 5 qualities that are always present in strong leaders. I call these the 5 C’s of strong leadership.
Strong leaders are…
This isn’t a flashy quality, but invariably the strongest of leaders demonstrate day-in and day-out consistency in their performance. And they maintain this consistency not for days or months, but for years.
In a conflict, the weak leader will be the one who loses their cool and flies off the handle. But the strong leader will maintain their poise, demonstrated by unwavering courtesy. To everyone.
Because of their sense of personal security, strong leaders are comfortable in drawing others into the leadership process. They don’t fly solo when it comes to leadership.
It takes enormous strength to genuinely care for the well-being of others. And it takes even greater strength to act on that care.
This is not a sword-wielding, wild-eyed, full-steam-ahead kind of recklessness. Strong leaders are driven forward by their convictions, which translates into iron-jawed determination.
If increasing the strength of your leadership really matters to you, work to grow in each of these 5 qualities.
Because strength in leadership is about a lot more than personality and charisma.