What Makes a Good Leader?

One of the wonderful things about Alpha Delta Kappa is the variety of leaders we have at all levels of our organization. We don’t have to be the same cookie-cutter type of leader in order to be successful. We all have unique background knowledge and experiences, as well as different styles of working with people that we can successfully incorporate in helping our organization grow.

As educators and members of Alpha Delta Kappa, we certainly have come in contact with many different leaders. What are some characteristics of those outstanding leaders we have met? We respect leaders who are genuine and “real.” We also want a leader who is accessible. As a communicator, this leader checks her email daily and responds promptly to questions. The three “D’s” also describe her, as she is dependable and dedicated, and she delegates. She realizes she shouldn’t do it all alone and breaks down tasks so others can develop their leadership skills as they assist her. A great leader is trustworthy and inspires confidence. Being open-minded and willing to listen to others helps her gather information, which is crucial to planning, making decisions and moving forward. Friendliness, sincerity and enthusiasm are other important attributes of a strong leader.

Let’s take a look at your own leadership skills. Reflect on the various leadership positions or offices you have held in school, Alpha Delta Kappa, church, and other organizations. On your cell phone, iPad, or on a note card, start a list of what you like about your leadership abilities. You will want to keep this list close by so you can add to it whenever a new attribute or skill comes to mind.

Now, think of other leaders you admire. What makes them special? What would you like to “borrow” from them and incorporate into your leadership repertoire? Add those attributes to your list.

Sometimes we learn what not to do from watching another person’s handling of a situation. What would you have done differently? Think about what you might want to change or further develop in your own leadership abilities. Add these ideas to your list.
Periodically, take a look at your list and evaluate your progress in working on these new goals. Implementing the thoughts and ideas you noted will help you continue to grow as a leader. Remember, when it comes to leadership, everything you do counts! As Alpha Delta Kappa leaders, we need to live and share our mission: Alpha Delta Kappa is an international honorary organization of women educators dedicated to educational excellence, altruism and world understanding. Build on the Roots of Tradition established by our Founders, and use your Wings to Soar to help our organization achieve even greater heights!