Five Leadership Traits In A Free Workplace

Independence Day is upon us in the United States and many will celebrate with fireworks, social gatherings and plenty of barbecued food. It is a joyous time as we honor those who helped create a country of freedom and choice. Along with having the many opportunities, comes a great deal of responsibility and expectation. We need to be open to different points of view and be willing to hear all sides of an issue before declaring our stand. But what is most fascinating about this process is that once you actually behave this way, it becomes a way of life naturally.

The same is true for any team or organization. When individuals embrace a free workplace, they incorporate behaviors and actions that exemplify freedom and choice. A free work environment evolves that respects each person no matter their position. An open flow of communication is the oil that keeps the team going smoothly. Yet this all must begin with the leadership.

Here are five leadership traits in a free workplace:


This is a word thrown around a lot without a real understanding of what it means or looks like. Accountable leaders honor their responsibilities by being dependable, reliable and truthful. They model accountability by meeting deadlines and telling others when and why certain projects cannot be completed on time. Accountable leaders own up to their mistakes and don’t blame others.


Whether it is a big or small team, a for-profit or not-for-profit organization, at the hub of any free work environment is trust. Leaders cultivate trust by:

  • Doing what they say they will do
  • Being vulnerable about their abilities and knowledge
  • Asking for honest feedback
  • Getting to know more deeply the concerns and interests of others
  • Being present


A free workplace knows where it is headed at all times and every person is clear about the direction. In addition, leaders include team members in deciding on the vision. Input from leaders at all levels is welcomed and encouraged. Signage with the organization’s vision is placed in highly visible areas for everyone to see and use as their north star.


When leaders cultivate a climate of freedom and openness, people listen to one another to understand what is being shared. Every team member sees the value in every colleague. Survival is based on respect.

  • Listen without interrupting
  • Clarify what is heard without judging the content
  • Use positive language that is both direct and specific
  • Be understanding that each person has their perspective and is deserving of being heard


We know that in a free society we need the support of others to make things happen. To gain that connection, leaders freely give credit to others and generously share the accomplishments of team members. In a free workplace people are not threatened by the success of others but rather empower individuals to shine. Networking is a way of life as it affords new work opportunities and innovation.

Let freedom ring in our work worlds! Let’s build organizations that are respectful of differences and develop kindhearted leaders.

What leadership traits help you create a free workplace?

(Credit image: Pixabay) 

4 thoughts on “Five Leadership Traits In A Free Workplace

  1. I love this entire list, Terri! They are all essential traits for great leadership…I would add “consistency.” This doesn’t come up very often on a list of top traits but I have found that people are as disturbed by a leader’s lack of consistency as anything else. When a leader is consistent, their team knows what to expect. When they are not, then everyone walks on eggshells because there is no predicting their reaction, their expectations, or their priorities…

  2. Fantastic addition LaRae! Consistency helps leaders build credibility and trust. When we are dependable and our colleagues know we will follow through on what we promise to do, we develop trusting work relationships. When others can depend on how we will react and not be blindsided, then we are cultivating a work environment that is free flowing and open.

    Thanks LaRae for your helpful insights!

  3. Spot on, Terri! I once worked somewhere (briefly) where the Founder yelled at an employee for having his shirt untucked. Not only did it impact that individual but the ripples were felt across the workplace for a long time to come. Not to mention, in the greater community, word got out and recruiting was less than an easy task. Freedom requires respect.

    Will share!


  4. Respect is what we all need and respect is what we should show others regardless of position or title. Your story exemplifies how important it is to hear how we sound when we communicate and think about how our message will be received. In a free workplace team member’s perspectives and feelings need to be considered before we bark out some crazy information.

    Thanks so much Alli for sharing your story and thoughts about freedom! Happy 4th!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *