6 Traits of a Healthy Leader

Everyone wants to lead a great team that is known for innovation, excellence, and accomplishment; but great teams need leaders who are emotionally healthy enough to lead effectively. What does a healthy leader look like?

  1. Healthy leaders take advice from a variety of sources, yet they are independent enough to use wise discernment.
    I am equally leery of a leader who can’t take advice or can’t make their own decisions. Either extreme indicates a leader who is too insecure to lead effectively.
  1. Healthy leaders are resilient enough not to collapse when things go wrong.
    One thing is certain: “Things will go wrong.” Fragile leaders seem unable to accept this as a part of reality, so they play the blame game. Healthy leaders accept hardships and adversity as the pathway to success.
  1. Healthy leaders avoid the trap of seeking revenge.
    Following a leader who is driven by revenge is like being on a runaway train. The desire for revenge in the heart of a leader clouds his/her judgment, creates constant anxiety within the team, and makes it almost impossible for the team to stay focused on the right things.
  1. Healthy leaders do not show partiality due to political pressures.
    Every leader faces pressures from external forces. It’s simply one of those things that come with being a leader. However, great leaders possess the courage to lead without constantly checking to see which way the wind is blowing. Unhealthy leaders, who are not sure of who they are or what they stand for, tend to let political pressures cause them to show partiality. This creates uncertainty and fosters an environment where people lose confidence. It causes them to believe that there is an inherent lack of fairness.
  1. Healthy leaders speak the truth without using it as a battering ram.
    Some leaders are too afraid to speak candidly enough to give people genuine feedback. This often indicates that the leader has an unhealthy fear of people. On the other hand, some leaders should get penalized for “unsportsmanlike conduct” over and over. They tell the truth, alright, but they are so frank that they crush people’s spirits. This suggests that a leader is either immensely insecure or has a deep disrespect for others.
  1. Healthy leaders put the needs of others in front of their own wants.
    Some leaders see their position as a license to fill their own lives with comforts and perks, even while the rest of their team suffers from a lack of resources. They seek validation through status symbols. Healthy leaders aren’t looking for validation. They see themselves as servants to a great cause—and to their team.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Be Grateful and Be Healthy!

Mike Mowery

Written by:
Mike Mowery
Director of Leadership Development, Strategic Government Resources

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