What makes a good leader?

what makes a good leader


We often hear the phrase “A born leader” thrown around, whether this is in a business, recreational or general context. Though it may be true that “born leaders” naturally possess personality traits that are suited towards the role of a leader, it must also be said that people can learn and develop specific skills that can enhance personality, profile and essentially enable them to excel as leaders. Using their expert know-how, Strengthscope have compiled for us the ultimate ‘good leader recipe’.

A strong leader will…

1. Understand group needs

It is important for leaders to thoroughly understand the attitude, skill and general personality of each individual staff member. Doing so will ensure a happier, more united work force that is built upon the development of strong personal relationships and trust. As relationships strengthen, leaders will begin to realise the most effective way to generate a positive response from each employee – this will be different depending on the person. Gathering a deep understanding of the needs and values of employees will also allow for a more concise, collective direction that can be orchestrated by the leader.

2. Understand the organisation

A good leader must embody the purpose, goals and direction of the organisation – they must literally lead by example. To achieve this, a leader must know their company inside out. Only then can employees be deployed to tasks the leader is confident will benefit the overall output of the organisation. This ties in with understanding group needs, as adopting a firm understanding of both the employees and the organisation will allow the leader to allocate elements of the business to associates with the appropriate aptitude and skill-sets. Furthermore, strong leaders will know the responsibility of their team and the part it plays in assisting overall business growth and success.

3. Communicate effectively

Good communication is arguably one of the most important features of strong effective leadership. In business, instructions and guidance regarding tasks, decisions, ideas and general organisational vision need to be correctly and accurately relayed to staff, else there may be confused or a disconnect between what the leader wants, and what their employees are actually doing.

A conflict or misunderstanding relating to business goals and/or direction can be detrimental to the overall output of the team. Good leaders will ensure every member of their team is in absolute accordance with them, assuring for optimal group cohesion.

4. Be passionate & committed

 If a leader exhibits hard work, passion and determination, their employees are also very likely to engender a similar work ethic. Hard-working leaders really help to unite and motivate the team by instilling the same energy and attitude throughout all layers of the organisation. Commitment also generates respect from employees, which is highly important. If staff have a good level of respect for the authoritative figure above them, they are far more likely to follow their instructions, carry out work to the best of their abilities, and ultimately follow in their footsteps (as long as they set a good example). Remember, a good leader not only, talks the talk, but also walks the walk.

5. Be confident

 Confidence really does breed success. An essential quality of a good leader is the ability to be, and instil confidence within both themselves and their team, at all times. Often in business, there will be occasions where organisations will suffer a setback or enter a ‘rough patch’. In these moments, it is strong leaders that step up and steady the ship by maintaining team morale and assuring them everything will be okay in the long term.  If the leader of a group stays cool, calm and collected, then the people within that group are likely to adopt a similar mind-set and attitude too.

6. Be decisive

All good leaders will be able to make decisions under pressure. For employees to have confidence in their leader, they need to be sure they can rely on them to steer them in the right direction, if problems were to arise. In business, stalling a decision can be the difference between converting a lead and completely losing one. The best leaders will always make quick calls, but not to the detriment of the accuracy of the decision. This, like many leadership qualities, comes with experience.

7. Have a clear vision

In order for a team to perform effectively, it needs to be aware of the direction in which they are heading, and the overall goal of their efforts. The role of the leader is to clearly impart their vision into their employees. Essentially, people will typically apply more focus and effort to a task or objective if they are instructed on why they’re doing it. Establishing a clear, concise vision also encourages staff to adopt it; which ideally creates a workforce in which everyone is on the same page, and working towards the same end goal.

Find out more about Strengthscope, their range of strength assessments and profilers, including their leadership profiler, on the Strengthscope Assessments page.

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