Making Leadership Everyone’s Business

Community Readiness. Leadership is Everyone’s Business.

History has demonstrated that it is easy to get others to do something. All we need is the promise of a promotion, and award, or favorable review. If the incentives don’t work we can report them, demote them, or impose some other consequences. But what happens when you don’t have bonuses or promotions to offer and you don’t offer compensation (at least not monetary) for your team?

Leadership is the ability to mobilize others to want to do or act toward a shared aspiration. This article discusses the 4 most cited leadership characteristics that mobilize others to want to do things and provide strategies to integrate these characteristics into your daily experience.

You do want leadership to be everyone’s business in your community, right?

Characteristic #1: Honesty In Leadership

People want to be led by someone they can trust, someone who does what they say they are going to do and someone who is personally invested in the direction of the future. Community members need to believe in the messenger or they won’t believe in the message.

Characteristic #2: Forward-Looking Leadership

Forward-looking leadership guides the team to a better tomorrow. Foreword leadership promises a sense of direction and confidence. Visions are about possibilities. Only when people understand how they are truly different will they want to be a part of the journey. Think about it like this, “welcome to our place. We are just like everyone else.” This is not how you want to be viewed by your community and forward focused leadership reads more like, “welcome to our place. We are different than everyone else and offer something unique.”

Characteristic #3: Inspiration In Leadership

What makes something intrinsically motivating? What inspires people to form their best and wants to reach their greatest potential? Research shows that intrinsic motivation and inspired by a “clear set of challenges.” Many studies uninspiring intrinsic motivation show that the key to getting others involved in something that requires us to look at a situation in a new way. Leadership lessons identify the exceptional leaders know the abilities of their constituents.


  • Do you know what the members of your team can do?
  • Do you recognize what others find to be challenging opportunities and identify their skills and abilities?


As leaders we have the responsibility to create opportunities and support that allow extraordinary things to be accomplished challenging opportunities and the ability to identify one’s skills and abilities that people don’t know they have is a key leadership characteristic.

Characteristic #4: Innovation In Leadership

Quality leaders search out challenging opportunities to change, grow, innovate and improve. Innovation and change must be identified as opportunities rather than threats.


Action strategy: Here’s an action strategy idea that can help you foster innovation in your community and with your team. Send people on your team shopping for ideas. One of the top strategies for innovation is gathering information from customers, employees, stakeholders, suppliers, others, etc. Putting idea gathering, as a priority, demonstrates an openness to continuously improving. We recommend that you dedicate at least 25% of each meeting (that’s 15 minutes per hour) to gathering new ideas for improving your processes and becoming more efficient. Where can you get these ideas? The ways are numerous: focus groups, advisory boards, mystery shoppers, mystery guests, evaluation forms, customer suggestions, suggestion boxes, breakfast meetings, brainstorming sessions and more.


Exemplary leaders learn from their mistakes and encourage others to do the same. They also promote hardiness and foster risk-taking. Most importantly exemplary leaders take action.

The 4 most cited leadership characteristics are honesty, forward-looking leadership, inspiration and innovation. How do you foster these characteristics of leadership in your day-to-day experiences with your team?

Five Reasons to Demonstrate Leadership Qualities

Leaders know where they are going and when they showcase these qualities and characteristics they provide a long-term vision and direction for the team. When your team perceives that you have these characteristics they are significantly more likely to:


  • be proud to tell others they are part of your organization or team
  • feel a strong sense of team spirit
  • see their own personal values is consistent with those of the organization or team
  • feel attached and committed to your efforts
  • have a sense of ownership of the organization or community group


When your team perceive their leadership to have low credibility and not demonstrate these 4 key characteristics they are significantly more likely to:


  • produce only if there watched carefully
  • be motivated primarily by financial compensation
  • say good things about the organization and public but criticize it privately
  • consider looking for another job if the organization experiences the problems
  • feel unsupported and unappreciated


These differences provide clear reasons why leaders should seriously consider the perceptions of their team and the community in which they work and strive to demonstrate these key leadership qualities.

How are you making leadership everyone’s business? How are you demonstrating these four key characteristics to build a strong, healthy, and resilient team?

Are your ready to take your leadership to the next level? Are you looking for new and exciting ideas to inspire and motivate your team toward optimal performance?

The Office of Community Research, Inc. provides consulting services that strategically evaluate your strengths and areas of opportunity. To learn more about building your team and community through evaluation consulting visit [].

On our website, you can sign up for our free CD, “3 Keys to Successful Program Evaluation” and learn more about how to promote and support key leadership characteristics and principles today!

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