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Easily recognized yet rarely found are the legendary leaders, the ones who stand out. Legendary leaders create a cause and move people. They challenge the status quo and deliver, comfortably at odds with skeptics. They do not conform nor revolt. They simply lead. Consider two characteristics ever-present in those we define as legendary.

Legendary leaders accept accountability for their mistakes. 

The legendary create no excuses. They do not blame. Instead, they innately understand that blame and success share nothing and they therefore seek only solutions going forward.

Legendary leaders view mistakes as stepping stones to the inevitable success. They foster a culture where creativity is not leashed to reward or failure, rather, one where creativity is viewed more as rushing waters overflowing, rumbling, splashing recklessly over obstacles in the path. Leaders focus on capturing the power of the creativity, not stifling it or diverting it into the pungent pond of micromanagement. Leaders savor things fresh. 

Legendary leaders provide recognition rather than seek it. 

Modest in their approach, legendary leaders see strength in numbers and actively honor the work of the team. They do not stand at the forefront waving a banner as accolades are given out. Instead, legendary leaders watch for subtle signs of excellence in others then cultivate that excellence into a mighty force. People are generally multitalented, proficient in favored areas, and willing to grow. Legendary leaders find the untapped capabilities in those they lead and begin to build strength therein. 

In recent years, the focus on return on investment has driven scrupulous attention to bottom line numbers and statistics. Important as those numbers are, would-be leaders who champion only short term ROI courses of action will eventually see the cost show up in their business culture fragility. To be frank, successful leaders must focus not only on the return on investment, they must also maintain resiliency in terms of return on individuality.

I see the need to infuse quality life-practices and humanity back into business ethics. We are ready to thrive in that direction. Today’s leaders define accountability and foster culture. They create new synergistic outcomes and redefine employee contribution.

Too often, leadership searches select individuals with high bottom-line numbers. Indeed, leaders largely impact the bottom line, but do so indirectly. The greatest leaders impact those who impact the bottom line. Therein is the difference. When provided true leadership, employees gain confidence in themselves and their fellow workers. They believe that they can accomplish the extraordinary. And typically they do.

Resolve to build your company from the inside out. Own your mistakes and seek solutions. Give recognition to those who deserve it. Capture all integral business and community aspects of growing brand awareness. A brand is much more than a company logo; much more than an ROI. It is the people who daily make things happen.

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