Qualities of a Great Leader
The qualities of a great leader include empowering people, good listening skills, continuous learning, having positive regard for staff and losing with grace. Develop leadership skills with advice from a business management consultant in this free video on leadership.
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I'm going to talk to you about the qualities of great leaders. And we can describe that through the use of five Ls. But first of all I think its fair to describe what we mean by leadership. Whereas management at work is about perfecting the way things are done, existing things, leadership is always about changing the way that work works, so that you actually improve work. Leaders are responsible for getting people to be comfortable and to sort of get involved with things they're unsure about; in other words the unknown and sometimes the unknowable. And good leaders are about actually creating that vision and engagement with the future. But what are the qualities of leaders? I've reduced them to five Ls. Obviously we start with the fact that leaders do lead. That doesn't however always mean leading from the front. It can of course mean leading from behind, of empowering people to find out where they're going rather than being prescriptive and telling them where they're going. Sometimes it's a combination of both and no one method works for all circumstances. Secondly, leaders listen. They listen in direct proportion to the number of ears they have compared with their mouth, a point which isn't always well attended to at work, in my opinion. Thirdly, leaders learn continuously. They're constantly curious. They're constantly looking over the shoulder of the company to see what others are doing, not just to benchmark but to see how they can actually compete with themselves and better themselves. So they're learning all the time all around them because leadership is about creating futures for other people. And you can't do that unless you're several steps ahead yourself. Fourthly, leaders love. I don't mean they love the staff. I do mean that they give unconditional positive regard to people creating conditions where people believe that they believe in them, creating that can do atmosphere where people give their best. All leaders are encouraging people to give discretionary performance, the ten percent extra that sometimes makes the difference between a company that's good and one that's great. And good leaders are about giving that all around feeling of can do. Finally, leaders lose with grace. And this is perhaps the hardest thing to do. It's o.k. to lead when things are going well, much more difficult when things are not going to well. When things do go badly, leaders avoid the trap of blaming everyone else for what's happened and they'll shoulder the responsibility and take responsibility for what has happened. And that marks out a leader that's good from one that is truly great. So, the five Ls, make sure you do lead from the front or the back, listen well, learn continuously, provide love and support to your employees and learn to lose with grace.