Expectations of Leaders at all Levels

In a recent Town Hall meeting I held with leaders of my team, I discussed skills that were critical for all leaders within the extended team. Too often, leadership training and coaching is provided for the boss and maybe his direct reports. My message has always been that leaders are at all levels. Everyone can be a leader, whether they have direct management authority or are simply influencers.

I summarized eight key expectations of leaders at all levels and wanted to share them with you.

1. Relationships. We must have the ability to demonstrate caring, collaboration, respect, trust and attentiveness to all of our stakeholders. Be Authentic.

“Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.” — Anthony Robbins

(see more on relationships in my prior blog post)

2. Communication. We must communicate effectively across multiple media and cultures. Listening and two-way feedback must be the norm. Be a Listener.

“A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with.” – Kenneth A. Wells

3. Collaboration. We must build the team and enable our teams to collaborate more effectively with each other. Be a Team Builder.

“The secret is to gang up on the problem, rather than each other.” — Thomas Stallkamp

4. Nurturing. We must help people grow and develop their skills and capabilities. Talent management needs to be more than annual reviews. Be Present.

“Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning.” –Warren G. Bennis

5. Financial Acumen. We must manage our organization like the large business it is, understanding the financials, setting goals, and measuring ourselves objectively. Be Diligent.

“Our treasure lies in the beehive of our knowledge. We are perpetually on the way thither, being by nature winged insects and honey gatherers of the mind.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Try running ANY project, team, or major initiative without understanding the numbers behind it …. You. Will. #FAIL.”—Adam L. Stanley

6. Morale Building. We must create an environment in which people experience positive morale despite the level of change. Recognition and motivation are critical. Be Grateful.

“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” –John Kenneth Galbraith

7. Pace Setting. We must lead by example, taking on challenges, rolling up our sleeves, and making tough decisions when called for. Be Decisive.

“Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control.” –Tom Landry

8. Inspirational. We must build a strategy and believe in that strategy, convincing our teams to join us in driving toward the strategy. Believe.

“Leadership is a transfer of belief — and great leaders inspire their teams to believe they can succeed. As a leader and manager, you are not just leading and managing people, but you are also leading and managing their beliefs. You must utilize every opportunity available to transfer your optimism” — Jon Gordon

What expectations do you have for leaders at all levels? As importantly, how good are you at demonstrating these skills yourself?

Be well! Lead On.


Adam L. Stanley
Follow me on twitter http://www.twitter.com/alswharton
Connect with me on Linked In http://www.linkedin.com/in/adamstanley
Or at http://www.alswharton.com/in

See more thoughts on leadership in my other blogs, such as:

Adam and Cookie in Tuscon


  1. This is a great post and thanks for sharing. I will always count you as one of the strongest and most effective leaders I have ever worked with in my career.

    Hope you’re well!


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