Are you a leader or a manager?  Have you thought about this topic lately? At a certain point in our successful career, we suddenly look around us and see all those skillful professionals surrounding us who look to us for guidance and answers. The answers we offer will determine the kind of leader we  will be to our team. At one point, you too will become the person who is responsible for various teams or even responsible for a company’s results.

At that moment many of us will start to wonder how we got here and think to ourselves: „Am I ready to lead and be a good example for my colleagues?“ Even though you may have a business degree from a university or some experience in the field – the majority of new managers are still questioning their own abilities. Those abilities can be developed through self-mastery and through trial and error. However we could avoid some of those errors by developing our character, by focusing on trust and leadership skills. I am talking about our own mindset and behavioral habits – the potential we have within ourselves that is just waiting to be unleashed.

I believe that the moment when we start questioning our abilities, we should focus all our energy and attention into becoming extraordinarily good at the things we do as potential leaders. Developing our own behaviors helps build up trust and integrity with our teams and colleagues.

As we start to change our values and habits through building our character and focusing our energy on becoming a great leader, it will directly reflect back from our peers and colleagues. We will start to make and see a difference whether we are mid-level or top-level managers. There will be an immediate response and you will start to influence your company’s culture by reinforcing its competitive advantage.  All great leaders know that culture is something no competitor can copy or apply easily, as it is their competitive advantage.

Therefore, as you start to build up your own behaviors you are creating your own competitive advantage. This decision has a lifelong impact as it will make a difference in any company or undertaking, regardless of your age and qualification.

Below you will find 13 behaviors that every potential Leader should develop:

TALK STRAIGHT – Be honest and tell the truth by using simple language.

DEMONSTRATE RESPECT – Genuinely care for others and treat everybody with respect.

CREATE TRANSPARENCY – Tell the truth in a way people can verify by being open and authentic.

RIGHT WRONGS – Make things right when you are wrong by apologizing quickly and by being humble.

SHOW LOYALTY – Give credit to others. Speak about people as if they were present. Do not slander.

DELIVER RESULTS – Establish a track record of results by getting the right things done. Make things happen and accomplish things you are hired to do.

GET BETTER – Improve continuously and never stop reading and learning. Leaders are always focused on improvement.

CONFRONT REALITY – Tackle issues head on, even when it is uncomfortable. Do not bury your head in the sand.

CLARIFY EXPECTATIONS – Disclose and reveal expectations. Do not assume that expectations are clear and shared.

PRACTICE ACCOUNTABILITY – Hold yourself and others accountable. Do not blame others or point fingers when things go wrong.

LISTEN FIRST – Listen before you speak. We were given two ears and one mouth: we should use them proportionally. When you listen, also use your heart. Do not assume what matters to others, find it out.

KEEP COMMITMENTS – Say what you are going to do and then do it. Only make commitments that you can fulfill.

EXTEND TRUST – Extend trust abundantly to those who have earned your trust. Do not withhold trust because there is risk involved.

Pert Lomp

CEO – FranklinCovey Estonia

Based on FranklinCovey’s  „The 13 Behaviors of High Trust Leaders“ Cards.