From Followers to Leaders: How Centered Leadership Inspires Success

Forget inspiring followers, centered leaders create leaders! Discover the 10 key qualities that propel teams to greatness, not just compliance.

Of 33 qualities identified by Bain & Co. Research that inspire team members, one stood above all: centered leadership. A centered leader is the most inspirational quality, embodying values, purpose, and mission obsession. Centered leaders provide a sense of security, consistency, and inward confidence, fostering an environment of trust and commitment.

Conversely, uncentered leaders manifest in various forms, such as insecurity, unpredictability, or self-absorption, resulting in unsettled followers. Centered leaders, on the other hand, produce leaders, not followers, through qualities like inward confidence, strategic consistency, and mission focus.

Here is a list of 10 qualities that define centered leadership.

  1. Guided by Values: Centered leaders are genuinely rooted in their core values, which serve as their compass in decision-making and behavior. They consistently demonstrate integrity, authenticity, and ethical conduct, earning the trust and respect of their team members.
  2. Driven by Purpose: Centered leaders are driven by a clear sense of purpose and meaning in their work. They are passionate about their organization’s mission and vision, inspiring others with their commitment and dedication to a higher cause.
  3. Obsessed with Mission: Centered leaders are deeply committed to achieving their organization’s mission and goals. They articulate a compelling vision, set ambitious objectives, and mobilize their team members toward shared objectives with enthusiasm and determination.
  4. Grounded and Aware: Centered leaders are grounded in self-awareness and mindfulness, maintaining a sense of balance and perspective in challenging situations. They remain calm, composed, and focused under pressure, fostering a culture of resilience and adaptability within their teams.
  5. Secure and Confident: Centered leaders exude confidence and self-assurance, instilling a sense of trust and stability among their team members. They are comfortable with vulnerability, open to feedback, and resilient in the face of setbacks, inspiring confidence and loyalty in others.
  6. Consistent in Behavior: Centered leaders demonstrate consistency in their words, actions, and decision-making, creating a sense of predictability and reliability within their teams. They set clear expectations, follow through on commitments, and hold themselves and others accountable for results.
  7. Empowering and Supportive: Centered leaders empower their team members, fostering a culture of autonomy, trust, safety, and accountability. They provide guidance and mentorship, encourage creativity and innovation, and celebrate the achievements and contributions of their team members.
  8. Communicative and Transparent: Centered leaders prioritize open and transparent communication, sharing information, insights, and feedback openly with their team members. They listen actively, foster constructive dialogue, and cultivate a culture of inclusivity and collaboration.
  9. Respectful and Compassionate: Centered leaders treat others with respect, empathy, and compassion, valuing diversity and inclusivity in their teams. They foster a supportive and caring work environment where individuals feel valued, heard, and appreciated.
  10. Inspiring and Motivating: Centered leaders inspire and motivate their team members through their vision, passion, and commitment to excellence. They lead by example, challenging others to stretch beyond their comfort zones and achieve their full potential.

Uncentered leaders can manifest in various ways, each with its own impact on the team and organization:

  1. Annoyingly Insecure: These leaders exhibit a pervasive sense of insecurity, seeking validation and reassurance from their team members. They may avoid conflict, lack direction, or manifest their insecurity as arrogance, micromanagement, or a know-it-all attitude. The impact of an annoyingly insecure leader is a lack of confidence among team members, resulting in reduced commitment and engagement.
  2. Consistently Unpredictable: Unpredictable leaders lack consistency in their actions and decision-making, creating uncertainty and confusion among their team members. Team members may struggle to understand expectations or anticipate changes, leading to hesitancy in their actions and a reluctance to take initiative. The impact of a consistently unpredictable leader is hesitant followership and a lack of trust in leadership direction.
  3. Distastefully Self-Absorbed: These leaders are primarily focused on their own interests, goals, and success, often at the expense of their team members. They may exhibit behaviors such as narcissism, micromanagement, or a lack of empathy for others’ perspectives and contributions. The impact of a distastefully self-absorbed leader is resentment among team members, who feel undervalued, unappreciated, and disengaged from the organization’s mission and goals.

Overall, centered leaders embody a holistic approach to leadership, integrating values, purpose, and empathy into their interactions with others. They create a positive and empowering work environment where individuals thrive, teams excel, and organizations achieve sustainable success.

Becoming the Centered Leader Your Team Craves – Craig Groeschel Podcast
Bain & Company Leadership Approach