6 things real leaders understand

Leadership involves a lot, including items that are obvious and those that are subtle. In his book “Leading the Life You Want,” Stewart D. Friedman offers several views of what leadership needs.

Friedman based his findings on a program he developed at the Ford Motor Company and a course at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

One thing Friedman says that leadership needs is to be real, acting with authenticity by clarifying what’s important. This is the foundation, the values and the vision of the future the leader wants to create.

Being real means:

  • Know what matters. Know the importance of each of the different aspects of life. Self-awareness makes for understanding and an ability to see the bigger picture.
  • Embody values consistently. These leaders are able to be themselves wherever they are, wherever they go. They act in ways that are consistent with their core values.
  • Align actions with values. This allows for thinking about goals with a clear understanding of them, making it easier to prioritize.
  •  Convey values with stories. Telling stories about key people and even that have shaped our lives binds people together.
  • Envision a legacy. This means not only having a vision about the future but also about exciting ideas on how to achieve this vision.
  • Be accountable. Take responsibility without letting weeks or months go by.