Recently, I have had some really good conversations with friends and co-workers about what makes for a great leader. We all know when we have a bad leader (or boss, supervisor, etc) but it can be difficult to define just what it is that makes someone great. So lets reverse engineer this:
The worst leader you can imagine:
- Talks down to people
- Brags about being the leader/boss/supervisor
- Isn’t approachable
- Doesn’t coach their team, but just gives orders
- Doesn’t inspire confidence
- Doesn’t know how to do their job well
- Is judgemental
- Doesn’t ask for help (everyone needs help sometimes!)
- Is two-faced
- Not trustworthy
- Offers only criticism
- Creates separation in the team
- uses favouritism
So if those are the qualities that make for a bad leader, what makes for a great leader?
A great leader:
- Is kind and compassionate
- Is humble and knows they have worked hard to get where they are
- Is someone you can turn to for help
- Inspires confidence
- Knows their job and role, inside out and backwards
- Is respectful of everyone around them
- Is constantly working to be better, knows that there is always room for improvement
- a good role model, someone you want to be like
- Offers constructive criticism, wants their team to be the best it can be
- Hold their team together
- A good leader should push every member of their team to be the best version of themselves.
- Empowers their team to make decisions and trains them to make the right ones
Personally, I think the difference between a good leader and a great leader is the ability to inspire. Have you been lucky enough to be around people who drive your passion? Who make you want to be the best you possible? When you wake up, are you excited to keep working towards a goal? Having people like that in your life are what make life worth living. They push you, they inspire you and they take you out of your comfort zone. These are people, the leaders, we need more of.
Having strong leaders is important in pretty much any job, so when you read these lists, where does your boss/supervisor fit? What other qualities should a leader have (or not have)?