What are important leadership qualities that you value in rising leaders? What are the qualities you hope to develop in those you serve in desiring that they take on greater leadership responsibilities in the future?
The following are 3 leadership qualities taken from ‘snapshots’ of everyday life here in Albania, essential for cultivating in an aspiring leader’s life.
In order to truly thrive in Albania, one needs patience. The best snapshot of necessary patience can be seen in these days following May 8th’s local elections as the results are still being tallied as of today– 3 days later. There was no point in staying up all night on Sunday, watching the news, waiting for a victory celebration for one political party or the other, since the ballots are counted by hand. One box at a time.
As I scanned the newspaper headlines today trying to determine who won, I realized that each newspaper, depending on their political slant, declared different winners for the same position– simply because the final results have yet to be sorted.
Another key leadership quality gleaned from living in Albania is that of creativity. With the massive amounts of cars on the roads and limited parking space throughout the city– some open spaces, not quite designed for parking, are turned into parking lots– thus showing creativity in dealing with this urban dilemma.
I noticed an interesting phenomena a few days before the elections. Small improvements around the city seemed to show up everywhere: TCLH mentioned that streetlights had been put up in his parent’s neighborhood, new road markings dividing lanes were freshly painted, and significant to me since I walk 35 minutes each way to and from our ministry building, were the new pedestrian crossing signs hanging from above.
It takes true wisdom, however, to know whether to step out into the crosswalk when you see oncoming cars pummeling down the pavement. In these past few days, I’ve seen it happen both ways– plenty of cars speeding by, oblivious to the implications of these new signs, and I’ve witnessed some brave souls strike out into the road with great faith that the cars will, in fact, slow down enough for them to arrive safely on the other side.
Wisdom is essential in leadership- knowing when to step out in boldness and take risks, and knowing when to cautiously hold back, waiting until the opportunity is just right.
What snapshots of leadership qualities have you observed in your everyday environment?