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What Makes A Great Leader?

Good leadership skills are highly valued in today’s workplace. A competent leader can make all the difference to the efficiency and productivity of a team. But what attributes do you need to make that difference? What makes a great leader?

Have A Compelling Vision

A sense of direction and the ability to focus on achieving goals should be the keystone of any business. You need to be able to instill in your staff a clear vision of your organisation’s aspirations. What are you striving to achieve?  What is the main purpose of its existence?  Make sure everyone knows what they are there for and make sure they buy into it.

Be Impartial

Good leaders need to treat everyone fairly. Your handling of personnel issues needs to be based on performance, not personality. You may like some people more than others, and get along better with some more than others, but as soon as you start to play favourites, your team can quickly turn into a fractious and dysfunctional family. Employees should know the culture, rules and expectations of the organisation, and have confidence that the leader will take them seriously.

Make Good Decisions

Decisions should be made quickly and firmly, but not with undue haste. This can be a fine balancing act, and you won’t get it right 100% of the time. But often it’s better to make a decision and be wrong, than not to make a decision at all! If you do make a mistake, freely acknowledge it, learn from it, and move on.

Practise Empathy

Many leaders have difficulty taking into consideration the feelings and personal motivations of their staff. This is probably because a lot of natural leaders tend to have type “A” personalities and are not inherently sympathetic to others’ emotions. However, happy workers are productive workers, and empathy in the workplace is really just a matter of listening to understand, and looking for possible solutions together.

Communicate Well

A lack of communication within an organisation can lead to an atmosphere of distrust and confusion. Make your communications as clear and simple as possible. Ask for feedback and engage in discussion. Be as open and honest as you can. If some information is confidential for good reason, explain why that is the case.

Set The Example

Practise what you preach. No-one will respect a manager who doesn’t do themselves what they ask their staff to do. You are a role model and a mentor, so make sure you act like one.

Working with a coach can help you to level up your leadership game, and get you feeling confident and excited about serving your people.

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