Berger Leadership Blog

Lift employees with these leadership traits

Dan BergerGreat leaders don't get to where they are through force or fear; rather, it's achieved by building trust and loyalty. There is a lot that goes into attaining that type of relationship with your employees, but to be successful – and to ensure others' success – it's worth investing in.

I came across this blog from Eric Torrence, who has spent time analyzing leaders and identified characteristics of a "posture" that great leaders demonstrate. His breakdown aligns well with practicing servant leadership, which is all about investing in the personal and professional well-being of those on your team.

Here are the traits:

  1. A humble spirit. I've shared before the importance of showing humility as a leader. What it comes down to is essentially believing in the capabilities of others and knowing your own limitations. This means being willing to admit mistakes, accept and give constructive feedback, and have a positive outlook.
  2. A servant's heart. Each of our organizations is working toward a bigger purpose that can't be achieved by a single person. If a president of CEO has a sense of entitlement and views themselves as the only one who is worthy of success, that's a problem. Leaders must provide opportunities for employees to grow and reach their potential – even if that means putting them in a position to rise above you.
  3. A "for you" attitude. I think this transcends leadership and should be an approach we take in all aspects our lives. We shouldn't root for people to failure or believe that's what others want for us. Knowing a boss or peer wants to see you succeed can make all the difference in self-esteem. In each of our respective markets, seeing our competitors do well will only inspire us to do even better.

Each of us can think of a person (or people) who inspired us to get to where we are today. It might've been a boss who believed in you, a mentor who helped you navigate career changes, a parent or teacher who helped you see your potential.

As a leader, it's my hope that I can be that person to my employees. That's why I practice servant leadership – to share what I've learned in my journey and pay it forward.

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About the Author

B. Dan Berger, President and CEO, NAFCU

Dan BergerB. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and helped turn the association into the premiere advocate for the credit union industry. Since becoming president and CEO in 2013, Berger, who is also an author, economist, and one of Washington's top lobbyists, is credited with bringing national attention to key policy issues, while ensuring NAFCU's members meet policymakers at the highest levels of government.

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