Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Character Strengths of Leadership

Guest Blogger Erik Braunitzer is the lead on the creative writing end of Douglas Elliman Marketing. With a background in philosophy, he's written a number of innovative pieces on leadership and morals.

The Character Strengths of Leadership, By Erik Braunitzer, courtesy of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, agents for NYC Rentals.

In today's time of economic hardships and 'leaderless' movements, we may be left looking for a new leader after all to set our country on the right path. But what about you, personally; do you try to be a good leader for your peers, friends and family? What character strengths actually make up a good leader?

I believe a leader is someone who leads others by example by being ethical, having integrity, and enlightening others to act in a similar fashion. People possessing these character strengths will naturally fall into leadership roles in different instances and even in their career. Making habits such as using manners, treating others with respect and making honesty your policy in all situations, you will be able find success in your personal and professional life.

Some people may feel that it is hard to maintain integrity at all times; a little white lie doesn't hurt anyone right? If you get caught being dishonest or choose to keep quiet instead of speaking up when you know something is wrong, your integrity is at stake. People who do not know you well will make a snap judgment about you that will be hard to change. Choosing to be a great leader and maintaining integrity as party of your beliefs and behavior, you will see a positive change in your life.

There are many great leaders that you can emulate to help you lead a life that positively affects yourself and those around you. And what better of an example to use than Martin Luther King. An American activist and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement of the mid-50’s, King achieved invaluable freedom for African Americans through boycotts, conferences and his famous “I have a dream” speech.

But it was his character strengths that allowed him to push on through some of the worst adversities. King was ethical, honest, kind and determined. Everything he did was based on his enlightenment, which came through what we can only be deemed as integrity. In 1964, he earned the Nobel Peace Prize, and is the youngest person to do so.   He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.  And like most leaders, King inspired others.  Morality, integrity and enlightenment are viral, and as long as these traits exist, so will great leaders like King.

So, by upholding your integrity, trying to be a leader and enlightening others to do the same, you will soon see the positive change it can bring to your life and those around you.  Start with these character strengths, and you’re on the right track.

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