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What Makes a Good Leader?

05 December 2017

You can find many examples of great leaders throughout history, with a different way of cultivating their reputation: Machiavellian dictators, enlightened monarchs, accountable presidents and prime ministers each have different reasons for why they wield the power, many of which don’t work in business but are adopted regardless by many.

A good leader in business must have certain qualities that allow them to lead people: honesty, humility, confidence in themselves and their workers, creativity, ingenuity, realistic goals and a healthy, positive attitude. Potentials leaders frequently trip up on one of these traits, all of which are needed for an effective, trusted and liked leader.

Honesty, as in all relationships, is extremely important in leadership. Being dishonest or breaking agreements snaps the trust between the two parties in two, which can only damage your business in the long run as employees leave or lose the drive to succeed, which reflects badly on your leadership qualities. Humility is equally important: if you can’t stop bragging about how great you are for whatever reason, you’ll quickly get a reputation for egotism, as well as reducing the contributions of your team to your own.
Having confidence in your team is multifaceted: while it’s important to trust your group to work hard according to your own directive, sometimes they may have valuable contributions that might get ignored if you have no faith in them.

Creativity and ingenuity are more incidental than the above, but being able to think outside the box and devise simple solutions can help put projects back on track and prevent a rigid, inflexible way of thinking that can alienate members of the team, who may work better using their own methods.

Having realistic goals is fairly simple, but it requires knowing how well your team can work under the constraints they’re placed under, which requires a good understanding of each member of the team. Making sure that your team can get their work done in a reasonable time helps to engender trust and reduces workplace stress.

Finally, a leader needs to lead from the front, setting an example for your team. If you’re constantly pessimistic or bringing up problems without any positive reinforcement for your team, they’ll quickly come to think that they’re either not working well enough or they’ll think you’re not fit to be a leader, either of which will doom whatever you’re working on.

Leadership is a quality that few people possess naturally, but many people can develop the attitudes that leaders need to build a strong team and achieve their goals. At the Change Consultancy, we’re excited about taking new technology, methods and workplace philosophy to reinvigorate companies and get them running at maximum efficiency in an age where change is fast and confusing.