What’s the most important quality in a leader?

Hi I’m Mayor Beauregard P. Fibbs. As mayor of Shady Pines Story Town I get asked that question a lot. It really gets to be a big deal during election season. Naturally, this whole notion of being a good leader is a hot topic right about now. Folks will be going to the polls real soon, so they have to think about it. They have to consider whether this fella or gal they’re voting for has the ability to be a good leader. 

Of course I’m hoping my neighbors will elect me again. I like being mayor. Oh sure, as my name implies, sometimes I do tell a fibb or two. But honesty is important, so I always make sure I fess up when I do get caught stretching the truth a bit. And, I try not to make that mistake again.

How about Kindness? Do you think a leader should be kind? I do. Sometimes I think we forget that politicians like me need to be kind.

We have folks in town who are hurting right now. Why with this pandemic still going strong, we see some businesses forced to close up – maybe for good. A lot of kids are still out of school and learning from home. Some of the folks who got the virus and are really sick, are being treated in the hospital in River City. 


I would say that kindness is one of the most undervalued leadership qualities in our world today. Here’s the way I see it. There are some people who will tell you that being kind is just another word for pushover, weak, inefficient, and soft.

They’ll tell you that you have to be tough and strong to be a leader. Why you’ll even hear it said that mean people who rule with fear are the ones who  get results. They’ll let you believe that a Game of Thrones approach is what people really value.

Well to all of that I say, “Poppycock.” That approach is entertaining in a TV show or a movie, but in real life – not so much. Leading with fear may work for a little while. But, sooner or later, people start to resent you for being like that.

Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t times when a leader has to make some tough decisions. Parents have to do the same thing with their kids.

There have to be rules to keep evryone safe. That’s what Harold and Edna Sanders found out when they adopted those two critters. When Boomerang and Halley’s Comet came to live with them, Harold and Edna had a heck of a time. They’d never been parents before.

First, they had to set boundaries and rules to keep their two, four-legged kids from tearing the house down. You see, they had to be leaders. They didn’t yell and scream at Boomer and Halley. That would have just scared those two animals.

Instead, they used kindness and compassion to show them the way. Oh, and they had to have a whole lot of patience. A happy family hugging their petsBut, by setting a good example, they helped their kids understand what was expected. Nowadays things are much calmer in the Sanders household. Most of the time!


Here’s the thing. I find that our neighbors like it when I tell them the truth and do what I say I’m going to do. That’s how they know they can trust me. No matter how tough things get, we know we can get through it together. For instance, I told them months ago that this Covid 19 virus is much worse than the flu. Even now we still have to do all we can to make sure our community is as safe as possible. That’s being honest with people.


When someone is hurting, you need to be kind and show them compassion. That what a leader does.

No one’s perfect. We all have our moments. I don’t always do the right thing. Sometimes I’m not the best version of myself. When that happens, I do get all stressed out. Then, I take a deep breath and remember to do what I can to lead with kindness, compassion, and generosity.

By the way, kindness comes in all different forms. It’s the free smile, the free hello, and the free wave. It’s treating people with generosity, empathy, and care. It’s about asking people how they are doing and taking a few minutes to actually listen to the response before walking off. 

You don’t have to be a politician, or even a parent for that matter, to show peole you care. Kids can be leaders, too.

Being kind is a great strength in any leader. This is how we should all want to lead to create a real impact for ourselves and for the people, and animals, in our lives.

What do you think? Leave us a comment below!