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What Makes A Good Leader?

There are many different views as to what makes a good leader. It has been widely debated as to whether you are born with leadership skills or whether you can develop into a leader. I personally subscribe to the view that leadership skills can be developed.

Developing your leadership skills is essential for running a successful business. Leadership skills can be developed through gaining experience, learning from others, training courses, self development, coaching or mentoring. Here are some hints and tips on some of the key leadership skills that will help you to develop into a good business leader:

Visionary. Leaders need to be able to develop, articulate and communicate the vision for their business, as well as inspiring everyone around the vision. Leaders also need to maintain a focus on the bigger picture for their business.

The ability to inspire and motivate others. Leaders need to inspire and motivate their employees to achieve the business objectives, as well as inspiring their suppliers, customers and everyone they deal with around their business vision.

Customer focused. Leaders need to be customer focused and to continually review their business from the customer's perspective. Providing a high level of customer service is a key part of developing a successful business.

Personal values and a reputation for integrity and honesty. Leaders need a strong sense of personal values and a reputation for integrity and honesty, as well as the ability to keep calm and assured whatever is happening around them.

Knowledgeable and experienced. Leaders need to have specific knowledge and experience of the business they are in, as well as good general business knowledge and experience. They also need to focus on self development and be prepared to keep developing their knowledge and experience.

Decisive and self-confident. Leaders need to be self-confident and decisive, as well as being accountable for their decisions and for the business as a whole.

Ability to effect and lead change. Change is an essential part of business today and leaders need to be able to seek opportunities for change and effect change both within and outside their business. Running a business requires you to be flexible and adaptable at all times.

Good communication skills at all levels. Leaders need to be able to communicate well at all levels both within and outside their business.

Delegation. Leaders need to be able to delegate, develop, empower and encourage accountability in others.

A willingness to take advice and to seek support. Good leaders are willing to take advice on their business, as well as to ask for help and support.

Author: Liz Makin
Published: Summer 2007

Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.


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