Abraham Lincoln said that “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Character is who you are deep down and eventually, the fruit of these roots will show in your life. Therefore it is vital that you work on developing a strong root system, a good character, if you want others to follow you because of who you are and what you stand for.
If you, as the leader, are fully committed to what you believe and what you want to achieve, it will inspire commitment in those who follow you. Commitment is what will make the difference between thinking about doing something and actually doing it.
Great leaders connect with people. They always find a way to understand the people around them and consequently communicate effectively to them. If people feel there is a disconnection between them and their leader, the leader’s influence severely diminishes. Therefore, if you want to become the best leader you can be, it is crucial that you always strive to connect with the people around you, not just your followers.
Competence always inspires confidence, whether that is in a surgeon who is about to operate on you or in the teacher who is going to guide your child through her first year at school. We look for, and value competence in those we expect to accomplish something significant, meaningful or important to us. The same is true of leadership. When leaders are competent, it will inspire confidence in them and others will be more willing to follow where they are leading.