Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Hopefully we all want to continue to hone our leadership skills, abilities and behaviors and be as impactful and influential as possible.

A commitment for continual learning is essential, and re-visiting critical leadership behaviors is always a simple and effective way to stay “sharp”.

We’ve heard most of this before, but it’s good to hear again. Here are the 7 Leadership Behaviors that Gallup has identified as essential competencies required for universal leadership excellence:

1. Build relationships – We’ve spoken extensively about this. Great leaders build genuine connections and trusting relationships with their peers, followers and networks.”

2. Develop people – Again, this is not a new thought. Leaders must prioritize ongoing development for every individual in their organization”.

3. Lead change – Understanding and leading through change is a given. “Leaders should model desired behaviors and challenge people to take responsibility for change”.

4. Inspire others – Leadership matters! “People thrive in a positive and encouraging environment that conveys purpose, celebrates accomplishments and recognizes each person’s unique importance”.

5. Think critically – This requires awareness and constant learning. “Great leaders are in a never-ending pursuit of information . . . establishing the goal, understanding risks . . . and  devising a comprehensive, multifaceted plan for execution“.

6. Communicate clearly – It’s not just about speaking and listening, it’s also about connections. “Leaders should . . . fuel a culture with streamlined information sharing and informed decision-makingPeople need to be listened to and listen themselves — and communication enables meaningful connections”.

7. Create accountability – Leaders hold themselves and others accountable. “Leaders should define what employees are accountable for, set and cascade goals, and infuse accountability in employee development”.

Chances are none of what was listed was new to you, but simple reminders can help us reinforce the behaviors we want to exhibit. It also helps us identify development opportunities for those wishing to grow their careers.  

What development opportunities do you have?  What about your direct reports?


Mike and Jan


Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
–John F. Kennedy