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7 Unspoken, Unseen Leadership Traits That Make Leaders Great

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Leading well means sometimes what a leader does when the team’s back is turned is more important than what they do in the team’s presence. When they don’t know what the leader is thinking or how he or she will respond — they discover they can still trust the leader.

There are parts of leadership you won’t read on a job description when they are telling you about the place you will work. There are traits of a leader which are unseen – often unknown. These traits have to be tested and you won’t know the traits are there until the test is complete, but these traits are what prove a leader to be a great leader.

I like to call the “backside of leadership.”

Years ago I had a leader I could never predict. One day everything was wonderful and the next day nothing was right. It was frustrating. I could never read this leader and whether or not he was happy or I was doing what he expected of me.

I had another leader who was consistent. When I did something well she celebrated with me. When I made a mistake she offered counsel, but put her trust in me again.

Which style of leader would you rather follow?

Probably all of us struggle in this area of leadership at times. I’m certain I have, but those who are following us need us to pass the test of the backside of leadership.

Leading well means sometimes what a leader does when the team’s back is turned is more important than what they do in the team’s presence. When they don’t know what the leader is thinking or how he or she will respond — they discover they can still trust the leader.

The backside of good leadership means a leader does what is best for the team and the organization – not for his or her personal gain – regardless of who gets credit.

Even if no one saw it coming – you can trust a great leader. In good times and not so good times, great leaders stand for their team.

That’s the backside of leadership.

Still trying to understand what I mean?

Here are 7 characteristics of the backside of great leadership:

Great leaders protect you.

When critics rise against you or your work a great leader stands behind you. Better yet, they stand in front of you to take the first bullet. They are predictable and consistent with their support.

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