‘The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things’.
– Ronald Reagan
- Leaders are people like everyone else; they exist at every level in a business – their personality types vary.
- You don’t need to be an extrovert to be a leader; people who frequently tell you they are a leader are often not.
- Good leaders know that an organisation, a business or a project succeeds or fails because of the people involved; leaders create an environment in which people can flourish.
- Good leaders are demanding, objective, progressive and focused on overcoming all barriers to success – they build a culture of success and see things through to completion.
- Poor leaders are often protectionist in case of failure and too ready to blame others.
- Good leaders inspire others and listen to their ideas; they leverage these where they will improve the probability of successful outcomes.
- People are motivated by leaders who have a vision, communicate that vision well, are energetic on implementing it, and who are seen as honourable, fair, trustworthy and respectful.
- People respond positively to leaders who do not procrastinate; good leaders are dynamic and keep the ‘discuss, decide, do’ decision making cycle as short as possible to maximise motivation and momentum towards successful outcomes.
- A leader never takes what they’re told at face value without checking; they always concentrate on the big picture and the detail.
- Good leaders make objective decisions based on analysis and do not baulk at making tough decisions that may be unpopular.
- Asking for permission before the fact takes longer than asking for forgiveness after it; leaders are adept at which approach to take in their decision making.
- A leader motivated mainly by personal ambition and personal priorities will fail to capture the hearts and minds of others and often fail to deliver their remit.
- A highly educated, experienced and knowledgeable workforce is less likely to align quickly with orders from a dictatorial leader; instead, people will become disaffected and ultimately leave to join other enterprises.
- People respond well to leaders who simplify and cut through vested interests with clear and credible simple solutions.
- Leaders are confident and self-aware; they know their weaknesses and cover these off by putting people around them who have the relevant strengths to compensate.
- Successful leaders have higher than average common-sense, good judgement, and a desire to continually expand their own and their team’s knowledge, skills and capabilities.
- Good leaders are resilient; they have a ‘can do, will do’ attitude even in the toughest times – people will go the extra mile for such individuals.