The Importance of Leadership - Message from Steve

Posted by Kristina Law on Feb 10, 2014

In Steve's Column, Main


businessman writing leadership skill concept businessman writing leadership skill concept

The importance of leadership - much has been researched and written on the role of leadership or the qualities of a good leader. A leader is much different from a manager. I like this quote saying "Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing". At its core, leadership is all about taking people to places they would not go alone.

Today I am going to take a closer look at qualities a strong leader and give you 5 that are currently on my list. Leaders that empower others are much more successful than those who believe that leading simply means exercising power over those below you.

Here is the list of the 5 important leadership qualities I believe any good leader should possess.

1. Serve as a role model: The first thing that differentiates a good leader from a not so good one is how they understand the concept of leadership itself. A good leader should be a role model for the rest of team. It is much easier to expect more of others when they see that they are not the only ones working hard.

Being a leader doesn’t exonerate you from hard work. In fact, it’s the opposite. Successful leaders, whether they run international corporations or smaller firms have to understand this concept. A team will only recognize a good leader who’s willing to work hard and set the example by raising the bar as high as possible.

2. Express yourself the right way: We all express ourselves differently but when it comes to talking to employees for instance, it’s best to adopt a style that may differ from the one you use outside of the workplace. Pay close attention to what your employees are telling you. By listening carefully instead of rushing, and maybe hearing only what you really want to hear, your answer will be much more adapted to your employees’ needs, appreciations or questions.

The second most important thing to learn is to always get straight to the point. There is no need to engage in a long-winded conversation, which in the end may lead you to say things you had no intention of saying, initially. Listening carefully and making sure that the answer you provide is clear, polite and straight to the point will not only prove effective, but will also show that as a leader, you know what you’re talking about and what you really want.

3. Provide Direction & Conviction: A strong vision and the willingness to see it through is one of the most important characteristics of leadership. The leader who believes in the mission and works toward it will be an inspiration and a resource to the people around him. But having the vision to break out of the norm and aim for great things is not enough. By seeing what can be and managing the goals on how to get there and then set the steps necessary to get there, a good leader can create an impressive change.

A great leader needs more than an optimistic outlook for the future of the company. A great leader needs to learn from what happened in the past, adapt to how things are working in the present, and do their best to predict how things will work in the future, all at the same time.

4. Learn the skill of Decisiveness: Employees rely on leaders to make decisions that are quick, logical and correct. Understanding the scope of the work your employees handle, the concerns of your supervisors, financial constraints and any other relevant factors will enable you to make fast decisions. Being quick, committed, analytical and thoughtful when making decisions is a skill that will move everyone in the right direction.

5. Simply be Trustworthy: Trust is at the core of respecting any leader. It it is also a major part in the foundation of successful interpersonal relationships. It is just as easy to build trust as it is to break it down, provided you are prepared to make the effort. Employees rely on your leadership for income and guidance, and clients rely on leaders for a product or service.

Possibly the most important step in building a foundation of trust is to do what you say you will do. Even if it is a small thing, canceling or failing to follow through will create hairline fractures in your trustworthiness. Employees work harder for a leader whom they trust, respect and believe in.

When thinking about our industry - caregiving is a “reality” confronting many people in our communities today. More and more people are informal caregivers – providing unpaid help to older persons who live in the community. One in four Americans is in a caregiving situation. These caregivers include spouses, adult children, and other relatives and friends. Despite changes in family size, geographic mobility, workforce participation of women, and other such factors, family caregivers still provide 80-90% of all personal and medical-related care to elderly relatives.

As the number of seniors increases each year, there is an increasing demand for both formal and informal provisions of support across the continuum of care. For many people, the challenges of care giving are often new experiences that they do not know much about and often lack information regarding these specific challenges as well as available community resources.

One of our major goals is to educate and support those who are caregivers. As I said in my new year's message last month, we would like to focus on building a large online network that will provide an online support for our community as well as the caregivers and care giving professional organizations all across this nation. We will serve a broad spectrum of family caregivers. The Caregiving Network will work hard to improve the level of education and support for Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age.

You can join our website at This network is free to join for anyone, whether you are a caregiver for your loved one or a care giving professional organization.