“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in others the conviction and the will to carry on.”

These are the words of iconic American writer and political commentator Walter Lippmann, who passed away in 1975 after a sterling career that included two Pulitzer Prizes. And true to form, he hits the leadership nail on the head.

To some extent, great leadership skills are innate. However, learning to be a better leader is within everyone’s ability – whether you’re charged with leading multiple teams, an entire company or a single employee.

Here are three traits to embrace as you find the leader within you:


Leaders model honesty. When it comes to ethical behavior, your team is a reflection of yourself. Whatever standard you personally uphold, it’s important to raise the team bar even higher.

  • Make a list of the core values and beliefs that both you and your brand represent. Post it where your team members will regularly see it. Constantly encourage everyone to live up to these tenets.
  • Honesty means more than just telling the truth. While being truthful is a critical part of good leadership, honesty also means acting fairly and being straightforward in your conduct. This builds trust in those you lead.


By proving your commitment to your role and your brand, you not only earn the respect of your team, but you also instill that same hard-working energy among all members.

  • Lead by example. There is no greater motivation than seeing the boss down in the trenches, working alongside everyone else. In the words of another great leader, 20th century industrialist Andrew Carnegie, “I have never known an able leader in business or industry who did not endeavor at all times to render more service than any man under his authority.”
  • Show your commitment to your promises. If you vow to implement casual Fridays, flexible work schedules or cross training to enhance development, stick to your word.


Great leaders are, by necessity, great communicators. If you can’t effectively present your ideas to your team, you’ll have a hard time earning their trust or even gaining their support.

  • In order for everyone to work toward the same goal, you must continuously communicate your vision. Being able to clearly describe what you need done – and why, how and when – is critical.
  • Make yourself accessible to provide updates and answer questions. Then, your team members will learn to trust and rely on you. As a result, they’ll work harder and more willingly.

The HR and workforce development experts at PrideStaff Modesto can partner with you to not only source, attract, hire and retain top talent, but also develop the leaders within your organization. To learn more, read our related posts or contact us today.

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