Leadership Article: What Makes a Good Leader

Discover the Leadership Skills that Matter

What Makes A Good Leader?

To be a good leader there are seven leadership skills that you will need to posses. These seven leadership skills are

  1. Thinking strategically
  2. Creating passion for your vision
  3. Being a good manager
  4. Performance managing when required
  5. Be in the business of employee service
  6. Communication, communication, communication
  7. Feedback, Feedback, Feedback

Thinking strategically

A good leader is strategic with their thinking, they understand what result business is trying to achieve and how the business to achieve these results. They will ensure all of their decisions and actions are consistent with the vision.

They don't react to the day-to-day noise in their business, instead, they seek systematic and strategic solutions that not only resolve today's problems but also prevent future problems from occurring.

Further, a good leader will continually scan for things that are out of their control including changes in their operating environments. When they see a change in their environment that might stop them from achieving their results, they will quickly develop contingency plans to ensure that the things they cannot control do not stop them from meeting or exceeding their targets.

Creating passion for your vision

A good leader, at any level in the business will have a vision, this vision is like a fire that burns inside them, it is the source of their passion. They discuss their vision at every opportunity,

  • in team meetings
  • one on one with employees
  • when assigning tasks, and
  • when giving feedback

By reinforcing the vision they are ensuring it becomes important in the minds of their people, importance drives passion, the more a leader refers to their vision the more employee passion will grow for the vision.

Being a good manager

What makes a good leader? Well, you need to start by being a good manager.

And, what is a good manager? Simply put a good manager knows the numbers. For example, they know how

  • how much work there is to do
  • how long it takes
  • how many people are required to do the work
  • how much work the team completed yesterday, and
  • how productive their people were
  • how much revenue came in
  • what it cost to generate the revenue
  • how their expenses stack up against best practice

A good manager also has strong discipline, they always follow up and they meet their commitments.

Performance managing when required

A good leader surrounds themselves with good people, they do not accept inferior performance, and while they coach and mentor to improve performance, they make the required tough decisions to resolve performance issue.

Be in the business of employee service

The "what makes a good leader team" have developed the term "Employee Service" to provide the required context for leaders. What makes a good leader? ..... A good leader is someone who is committed to providing their employees with the service that their people deserve.

So, what is employee service?

Employee service is a commitment from the leader to provide the employee with a high level of service to satisfy the employee's needs, Employees have many needs and by satisfying these needs the leader will engage the employee's discretionary effort of their people.

Communication, communication, communication

How much communication? A good leader provides significantly more communication than is generally required to complete the employee's job. This additional communication can include

  • changes that are planned
  • financial performance, cost and revenue
  • current productivity or service levels
  • expected future levels of performance
  • changes in other areas of the business
  • business plan highlights
  • new customers
  • lost customers
  • new competitors or changes with competitors

They provide context with their communications, and they repeat their key messages 100 times in 100 different ways.

Feedback, Feedback, Feedback

A good leader will use feedback to help reinforce their business priorities, this feedback is consistent with the leaders

  • vision
  • strategy
  • values

Their feedback is provided freely, and it matches the contribution of the employee. The leader speaks more about their people than they do about themselves.

Summary, what makes a good leader?

A good leader acts strategically, they craft out a vision and refer constantly to their vision, in their communications and when giving feedback. They are firstly a good manager and they are focused on their people, surrounding themselves with good people.

Consulting Australia

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