Green Flags of Leadership
Everyone watches out for “red flags,” the indicators of organizations or individuals that make for an unpleasant work experience. But as I interact with leaders at various levels across different industries in my executive coaching work, I see many “green flags” that are equally important to note. When leaders are behaving at their highest level, they make a positive impact on culture, enabling healthy collaboration and inclusion, along with closer alignment to organizational core values. Here are some to identify and reinforce in yourself and with your peers.
A green flag leader…
- Doesn’t avoid tough conversations around individual or organizational performance. Speaking with candor demonstrates commitment to and trust in others.
- Shares information freely and in a timely manner with those closest to the work.
- Keeps confidences when colleagues share sensitive or personal information and doesn’t engage in office or industry gossip.
- Treats people equitably and fairly and proceeds through discomfort when encountering diversity of any kind, whether demographic or behavioral.
- Seeks out other perspectives that may differ from their own. Using discernment and good judgment, collect various viewpoints and use trusted sources to assess and determine a course of action.
- Demonstrates congruence in words and deeds, showing authenticity.
- Exhibits openness to new and different ways of thinking and seeks to understand people, processes, or concepts that are unfamiliar to them. Leaders today can’t rely solely on their lived experiences to navigate today’s challenges.
- Adopts a purpose-oriented mindset to serve those closest to work and help them find meaning in their work. This can happen through coaching and feedback, attentiveness to employee insights, and removing barriers to achievement.
- Accelerates progress through constructive and supportive behaviors and attitudes.
- Calls out harmful behaviors that do not align with organizational values and culture.
- Owns mistakes and treats missteps as opportunities to learn and grow.
- Demonstrates interpersonal sensitivity and empathy, or high EQ, when working through difficult business issues or personal challenges.