The Responsibilities of a Leader

Was lucky to hear Jim Tressel speak at the Ohio Association of Local School Superintendents today on leadership.  My biggest takeaway is that my actions as a leader matter, but the extent to which my words are congruent with my actions, as well as the effort I put into growing those who serve under me will be the biggest difference makers in my leadership

Coach Tressel shared five characteristics of leaders who reach their full potential (everything save for #4 also can be construed as a statement of values):

  1. Selflessness
  2. Grit (how do you get through the inevitable tough times)
  3. (Insatiable) curiosity on how to get better (as a leader, person, student, husband, father, etc.)
  4. Talent (this matters when hiring leaders, teachers, etc., but it is interesting to note that it is not in the top three).
  5. Work Ethic

As a leader, one of the measuring sticks I use is how well am I applying these five characteristics on a daily basis, and to what extent am I instilling these in those who I am responsible for leading?

Finally, I loved his message on gratitude.  I was once again challenged to evaluate the level at which I am living out an attitude of gratitude, and do my actions reflect this core value?  At the end of the day, I am always more effective as a leader when I begin each day with a grateful posture (and look at every event on the calendar as an opportunity to grow and serve).