Asked today at work: “What qualities would make you an exceptional leader and role model for your employees?”
My answer: Transparency
wikipedia says: Transparency, as used in the humanities, implies openness, communication, and accountability. It is a metaphorical extension of the meaning used in the physical sciences: a "transparent" object is one that can be seen through.
Two years ago, this meant "thou shalt blog." Although blogging is a good first step, it is not sufficient. It does help you "get" transparency - blogs are useless if not regularly updated. The daily pressure to find something others will find interesting puts your daily focus where it should be - customers/employees needs.
Engagement in the customer's/employees community (wherever that is) "shoulder to shoulder" with them will encourage and engender transparency.
Are you a role model of transparency?
Have a different answer to the question? Leave feedback.
My answer: Open Standards.
Let your required standard of work be known and always meet it yourself. There is no room in leadership for hypocrisy.