Ask The Experts

Learning from your role models

Question: What makes a true leader?

This question really bothers me a lot, as I know of people who expect respect as leaders, but still do not get their due respect even when given it formally by their organisation.

In this case, I am referring to my superior whom I do not respect as my leader. There is something about his ways, his thinking and actions that make me have an adverse feeling about him.

How can I learn from this so that I will not get others to feel the same way about me like what I have for him?

Answer: If you look at your life experience, you’ll find that you have the answer to what makes a true leader.

Just reflect back to the people you admire (and otherwise), and you will be able to build up a list for yourself, which you can use as your benchmark for your leaders, and yourself.

Consciously, build a list of qualities you admire about certain handpicked people in your life, sort them under four categories and rate them on how they fare in them.

The first category is their level of self-awareness, where they consistently behave in ways that project their authenticity and conviction of what they believe in.

The second one is their ability to manage themselves to be consistently positive and focused as they know what they want exactly.

Thirdly, is whether they are people persons, who have a deep understanding and respect for others’ cultures and style. This will be demonstrated through the ways they harmonise with others.

The final category is their people building skills and generosity to build others.

Powerful Questions You Can Ask Yourself:

• Who are the five people in your life, past or present, whom you admire most?

• What makes them stand out from the rest?

• What are some of the qualities possessed by these people that have an impact on you?

• What can you learn for yourself to become a great leader too?

Article by Dr Michael Heah, an ICF Master Certified Coach with