Originally answered Apr 24, 2019

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  1. How successful are the people being led?
  2. How successful is the organization being led?
  3. What do the people being led have to say about the leader?
  4. What do peers, colleagues, and superiors have to say about the leader?
  5. Has the leader consistently demonstrated the following ABCs (Actions, Behaviors, and Characteristics) of effective leaders?


  • Principles — have a core set of principles and values, and strive to uphold them
  • Act — take action as needed, after careful consideration, and in a timely manner
  • Trust your people and colleagues, unless they give you reason not to do so
  • Honest — as much as possible, be honest, open, and transparent
  • Bold — don’t be afraid to innovate and try new things
  • Upbeat — stay positive, optimistic, and calm
  • Integrity — be ethical, fair, and accountable
  • Loyal — always have the backs of your people
  • Decisive — make timely decisions based on available information
  • Enlighten — communicate appropriately, thoroughly, and promptly
  • Recognize — regularly thank, praise, and celebrate colleagues and team members
  • Serve — focus on supporting your team members with whatever they need


  • Lead the organization’s people and teams authentically.
  • Establish the vision, mission, and direction for the organization, develop action plans, and lead projects.
  • Achieve a positive culture that rewards caring, sharing, and daring.
  • Define principles and values, goals and objectives, and measurements and rewards.
  • Engage by communicating regularly to keep all members of the organization informed and involved, regularly soliciting suggested improvements and candid feedback, and taking as much action as possible on the input received.
  • Report regularly on the organization’s performance against established metrics.
  • Serve the people, the stakeholders, and the local community.
  • Hang out with other leaders to exchange ideas, solicit advice, and keep up with innovations.
  • Improve organizational results.
  • Practice what is preached, model the desired behaviors, and lead by example.


  • Passion — have passion for your work, convey it to your people, and demonstrate it in your actions
  • Integrity — establish, maintain, and promote core values; be fair, honest, and responsible
  • Communication — regularly let stakeholders know what is going on by communicating coherently, completely, and compellingly to inspire, align, and motivate
  • Knowledge — know as much as you can about your work, share your knowledge with others, and encourage them to do the same
  • Love — love what you do, love your people, and show love to the people with whom you interact
  • Empowerment — listen to, trust, and enable your people to succeed
  • Service — serve your people, your organization, and your community


  • Treat others fairly and with respect
  • Respond quickly and decisively
  • Understand what your colleagues need
  • Support your team members
  • Tell the truth

5. Four Fundamentals

  • Practice and reward caring, sharing, and daring — caring for others, sharing what you know, and daring to try new ideas
  • Insist on trust, truth, and transparency in all dealings — earn and respect the trust of others, communicate truthfully and openly, and demonstrate and expect accountability
  • Look for opportunities to help, thank, and praise others
  • Eliminate criticism, blame, and ridicule in all interactions with others

6. The Right Stuff

  • Do what is right — logically, financially, morally, ethically, and environmentally — with decency, integrity, and fairness
  • Do it the right way — honestly, accurately, correctly, and completely — with good effort, resulting in high quality, and meeting all commitments
  • Do it right away — don’t procrastinate, make excuses, or avoid what is unpleasant — the sooner you start, the better

See also Articles, Presentation, and Books about Leadership

Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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