An ability to make sound decisions quickly and confidently is one example of leadership. Leadership is also reflected in the attitudes and behaviors of a leader's colleagues. Employees who freely share their opinions and comfortably provide differing viewpoints provide an example of leadership that challenges people to think creatively and challenge themselves and others. The provision of timely, constructive feedback and clear expectations for both organizational and individual performance is also an example of strong leadership.
Confidence coupled with personal accountability exemplifies leadership. Leadership is evidenced by those who openly accept responsibility for their mistakes, and mentor and teach to enable the success of others. Recognizing individual and team accomplishments, while sharing responsibility for mistakes or failed efforts of subordinates are examples of leadership behaviors. Leaders consistently set the standard for ethical behavior and commitment to the organizational mission and values through their behaviors and words.
An ability to move appropriately between leadership styles depending on varying situations, while remaining open in one's communication and valuing others exemplifies the best of leadership. Real world examples of leadership include Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, who exemplify a transformational style of leadership, encouraging innovation and creativity. While high productivity and employment engagement thrive within this style of leadership, long-term success also requires a focus on the details of managing a cost-effective business.
Herb Kelleher, co-founder and former chief executive officer of Southwest Airlines, presents a good example of a leadership style focused on serving others and enabling the team to lead collaboratively. A leadership approach such as Kelleher's can lead to positive morale and happy employees, but may falter when quick decisions are required.