Leadership: What Makes a Good Leader?
Great leaders are often revered and even worshipped. However, what is the secret behind their admiration? Are there certain characteristics that distinguish a leader from another person? In most cases, good leaders want those under him or her to succeed, are visionaries, are inspiring, guide others towards an outcome, and are great at self-assessment. Though there are many other qualities of good leaders that can be mentioned, these are the main ones that contribute to their position.
Though people who manage others are often self-serving, true leaders want those they work for to accomplish team goals. According to Meredith Moore Crosby from Leverette Weekes, “The jump from individual contributor to leader is a mindset shift to care about the broader organization outside of daily responsibilities. Leaders take on challenges instead of waiting for assignments. Leaders build organizations and help managers understand their function. Leaders study the organization and contribute beyond their role by developing managers” (Council, Forbes Coaches). Unlike managers, leaders are more holistic workers rather than micromanagers.
Leaders, besides wanting their teams to succeed, are also visionaries. Alan Zimmerman, with a PhD in Communication, notes that, “Many people would argue that the best CEO (maybe not the best person) of the 20th century was Jack Welch, the former chairman of General Electric. When asked for his thoughts on leadership, he echoed the same sentiment. Leadership starts with vision” (“Leaders Are Visionaries”). Real leaders seek to challenge the norm and look for fresh ideas in their sphere of work. Through these visions, they inspire their subordinates.
Speaking of inspiration, leaders are known to be profound inspirers. They can easily increase the morale of a group, and push those that are downtrodden towards a common goal. As leadership coach Kris McCrea Scrutchfield says, “A leader creates a path forward with people using curiosity to hear ideas from their perspective. They inspire themselves and others to be the best they can be while stretching beyond what’s comfortable. Being a leader begins from within, not outside ourselves” (Council, Forbes Coaches). Commonly, leaders begin by being self-inspiring. They know how to...