What Makes a Good Leader?
In today’s post, I discuss some things that make a good leader. A good leader is crucial to the success of an organization, but what makes a good leader? I’m not certain that there are exact requirements since leadership is a little more art than science. It is clear that there are some things that good leaders do while there are things that reek of bad leadership. I have been fortunate to have been exposed to solid leaders throughout my life. There have been plenty of bad leaders that have taught me as much, if not more, about leadership and what not to do.
Have you had a boss that you knew had your back? Someone who was willing to go the extra mile to not only support you, but also build you up? There are many amazing leaders out there that have the best interest of their people in mind. Now think about the bosses that are self-serving, withhold information as power, and degrade the morale of the entire organization? Count the number of each, sadly my guess is there are more names in the bad leader category.
The main key about a good leader is to remember it is about action and behavior, NOT position. To many times people think of themselves as leaders as soon as receiving a promotion, or maybe worse, do not consider themselves leaders until they receive a promotion. Everyone is a leader since everyone has influence over someone else. To be a great leader down the road, it is crucial that we begin leadership training from the lowest level employees.
When a good leader takes action, lives the position through behavior, and has influence over others, the leader sets the tone and begins to build the culture of the organization once the respect has been earned and influence has been won. It is only at this time that the leader is ready to begin to cast a vision, and cast it again and again and again. I have heard that in order to make your staff hear your vision, you must tell them 21 times and then tell them again.
Roles of a good leader
Some basic roles of a good leader include someone who can paint a picture of the vision, inspire the people, communicate effectively, be a person of character, be human and have empathy, and maybe most importantly, a person with integrity. These are all important (definitely not an exhaustive list of roles) and require intentional dedication to ensure that they receive attention. Don’t forget that empowerment and delegation are also key to help develop and add value to others.
For a more exhaustive list of what it takes to be a good leader, I highly recommend John C. Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, this book is a detailed version of what it takes to be a leader. Maxwell is a leading expert on leadership and has been named the #1 leadership guru on a couple occasions. The book is available via hardcover, paperback, e-book, and audio book through your favorite book retailer.
Question: From your perspective, what makes a good leader? You can leave a comment by clicking here.