Executive coach S. Chris Edmonds offers the three pillars of good leadership.
They are, with my variations:
Do not tolerate bad behavior.
Take all opinions into account.
Put it all in context.
Surely, leaders must set an example of good behavior. They must be respectful and considerate, never rude, insulting or demeaning.
But, they should never countenance bad behavior in others.
Evidently, if they behave badly themselves they will not be respected when they reject rudeness in others.
Once an executive allows his staff to believe that rudeness, bullying and demeaning behavior is acceptable, he will have a very difficult time putting an end to it.
As for the ability to listen, we ought to be clear that there is much more to it than just listening. Being a good listener means taking what you hear seriously. You show yourself to be a good listener by including what you hear in your decisions.
Employees who do not believe that their concerns have been taken into account will be less motivated to implement company policy.
The purpose of good listening is to allow everyone to feel like a part of the decision making process, to give everyone a voice.
When Edwards talks about context he means that employees must know how their jobs fit within the larger context of the company, perhaps even the industry or the nation.
Once the leader sets a strategy, he must not only show that it reflects the input he has been receiving, but he must be sure that everyone understands it. The higher an executive the larger his scope. His is a more global view.
And he should be sure that all employees understand how their jobs fit into the larger picture. Otherwise employees will feel isolated from everyone else.
In a word, the three pillars of good leadership are about making all employees feel like they belong, lare being treated with respect and are an integral part of the work process.