Honesty is the Best Policy: An Honest Leader is a Great Leader

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”

-Douglas MacArthur

Are we born leaders or do we become them? There are many personality traits that make a person a great leader naturally. There are also many different ways that a person behaves that makes them a great leader. A person’s natural traits, in combination with how they apply these traits, their behaviors, and decisions that they make, make a person a great leader.

Chris is the CEO of a successful financial company, which he started himself. It took determination, hard work, persistence, goal setting, and lots of motivation to get the company to where it is today. He started from the bottom and worked his way up, learning many important leadership traits and behaviors along the way. Through trial and many difficult situations, including failure, he learned the life lessons that he needed to learn, and yet he still pushed through. His life motto: Honesty is the best policy.

Traits approach and servant leadership in combination fit together to describe Chris. Traits approach says that leaders must posses certain traits, which Chris certainly does. Servant leadership can be used to describe the behaviors that Chris uses to be a great leader. Trait approach and servant leadership compliment one another. Trait approach explains how a person might naturally be, and servant leadership describes the way that the person chooses to behave. This is similar to the theory of hard work vs. natural talent, or the concept of nature vs. nurture. Because Chris possesses many traits that help a person become a great leader, and because he also chooses to behave ethically, these two concepts combined make him an even greater leader than just one concept alone.

Chris specifically displays the traits of drive, desire to lead, honesty and integrity, self-confidence, cognitive ability, and knowledge of the business on a day-to-day basis. These traits also go along with servant-leader traits that he has, including listening, empathy, awareness, and commitment to the growth of people. His goal at his company is to help everyone to work together to best benefit the company. He wants to build a sense of community, and believes that if people are happy, they will perform better. People are the most important thing to Chris, and he says that the relationships that people have with one another are what bring us the most joy in life.

Chris is a leader that truly listens to people. This shows that he wants to serve the people. He wants to invest in people and believes that it is better to help develop someone so that they can become better themselves. He is extremely honest and transparent. He will always tell you the truth. He empathizes with people, which helps to establish a sense of trust between leader and follower. He cares the most about what is best for people. He has a true desire to serve others, which reflects positively in his company, as well as his personal life. Chris is a natural born leader, but he also chooses to act upon these personality traits and use them to his best ability. Like Douglas MacArthur said, a leader does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by his actions and his intent.



Dobbs, J. (2018). Pennsylvania State University, Unit 01: Leader-Based Theories of

Leadership. Retrieved from: https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1887888/pages/u01-overview?module_item_id=24632466

Northouse, P. G. (2015). Leadership: Theory and practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA:

SAGE. [ISBN: 978-1483317533]

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