Leadership is truly an art. While some people demonstrate innate leadership talents and inspire their teams, most must find and refine their authentic approach to leading their teams and organizations.
The New York Times examined the leadership approach of Dr Amy Acton, director of health for Ohio’s Department of Health, who led Ohio’s response early in the pandemic. She’s been very effective in guiding Ohio’s Covid 19 response, and engaging public support of the plan. The journalist examined Dr Acton’s news briefs and identified three leadership attributes that have made constituents engage with Ohio’s proactive plan: Empathy, Honesty & Transparency and Vulnerability. The video link below showcases examples in her news conferences.
These three leadership principles apply to leaders in other roles and institutions too, but they must be applied in a way that’s authentic to each leader. Years ago, we worked for a manager who didn’t have innate leadership skills, but she tried. She saw the behaviors of her boss, a natural leader, and mimicked them. That, of course, didn’t work well as it came across as bad parody of leadership. Each individual has to discover their own authentic leadership style that works for them while incorporating the key principles of leadership. What’s your leadership model?