Tuesday, 28 April 2009

What makes a Great Leader?

Leaders come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, colors and situations. In fact we are all leaders whether we realize it or not, especially if we have others looking to us for guidance, education, insight or assistance.

There have been many definitions of leadership and many different schools of thought regarding leadership styles. One of the best ones I have I come across is by Tom Peters, author of many leadership books including In Search of Excellence. He puts it as "Leadership is about the development, the inducement of people to grow, to go way beyond where they believe they could go."

According to many experts of the subject, these traits are found in all great leaders.

1. The Ability to Inspire A great leader has passion, determination and commitment. For their vision, their purpose, and their live as well as the lives of those around them. Great leaders know that their real power comes from empowering others.

2. Has a Vision A great leader can see the bigger picture and knows what they what to achieve. They understand their objectives and can be flexible in the way they achieve their outcomes.

3. Has Integrity While great leaders are not perfect, they set high standards of honesty and ethics. They are principled and act with commitment and sincerity, and urge others to do the same.

4. They are Approachable Great leaders are open to meeting with others, they encourage questions and new ideas as well as being available to assist with problems when required.

5. Encourage Others to Use Their Skills and Talents They know how to recognize the best person for the job and trust they can do that job. Great leaders are skilled at seeing others better than they see themselves and then guiding them so they can shine.

6. Great Leaders are Emotionally Intelligent. They have the awareness and the ability to manage their emotions in a healthy and productive manner, especially in times of storms, conflict or crises. They also are able to identify and utilize the emotions of others.

7. They Strive to be The Best Great leaders don't just meet expectations, they blow them out of the world. Wherever possible they set new higher standards and aim for personal excellence in all that they do.

8. Great Leaders are Aware They have a broad awareness of not only their team, their vision, their project but also a more global awareness outside their circle of influence.

So while some of us have greater leadership skills than others, it is always possible to improve our position on the leadership scale. As a true leader does not have to rely on position or force to lead.

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1 comment:

  1. My God, I remember buying you lunch at DWD last year and you only had one weakness, self confidence. I saw so much in you potential but you just didn't walk the walk, you talked the talk but you just didn't believe you could walk in large foot prints. Well, I want you to have another look at this site, read it again. Think about what you have written. I don't think you understand how much you have grown. WELL DONE.
    Love Steve and Liz