• Learn what makes a good leader - according to Soren, the PD Guy.
See the traits of a good leader, read about styles of leadership ...
management vs leadership and what makes a good manager.
leadership theories, leadership examples & quotes ...
• ... gender and
leadership & the challenges of women in leadership.
• And maybe get
provoked by the idea of ... love ... in leadership!
• If you want, you
can jump directly to the middle of this leadership article, where you get the
LIST of traits called
What Makes a Good Leader - the Traits of a Good Leader
Who Is This Text Meant For?
This text is focused on you - as a leader ...
or perhaps as a wannabe leader. People who have leaders can join the fun, too.
There's something here for just about everyone who's interested in leadership.
Be prepared to get some high level insight, some useful leadership tools, some
questions that make you think and some generally useful knowledge.
read on. The Personal Development Guy might just have something to offer you ...
Who Am I to Talk?
Well, I do have an MBA (Master of
Business Administration) and I've worked with business leadership coaching as an
executive coach in the corporate world for about 10 years.
That was before I
turned self employed and continued this work on my own, part time.
provide my own personal business coaching consulting executive services - as
well as doing business leadership coaching and life coaching online [LINK].
I do know what I'm talking about - even if my views about what makes a good
leader are sometimes a bit controversial.
What Makes a Good
This is actually a simple question which deserves a simple
answer. I'll provide one:A good leader is someone who loves to lead other
people and does his or her very best at it, in such a way that other people love
to be led and do their very best, too.
This definition is deliberately
simplistic, because with almost everybody having an opinion about leadership and
a true abundance of leadership theories it's so easy to get lost. I'll get into
the more complex bits about leadership shortly, but for now please just notice
and doing your best.
Those are the two key concepts.
If you want to dig a little deeper into the nature of leadership and read a
number of different definitions of leadership, including the Personal
Development Guy's leadership definition, you can check out the leadership
article Leadership Definition: What Is Leadership? Let's Define Leadership
Otherwise, please just read on, there's plenty here to make you think ...
Love - and Fear - as Leadership Tools
Love isn't some
wishy-washy-hippie thing. It's actually a concrete and highly useful leadership
Belief can be a great motivator, as can plain shared interests, but
nothing motivates people as powerfully as love does. If you don't use love in
your leadership you're missing out on something really important and not getting
the results you deserve. We'll get back to that in a bit - in the form of some
questions that make you think about what makes a good leader.
using fear as one of your a motivational tools, your idea about leadership is
antiquated and you ARE getting the results you deserve! No, seriously, fear
makes people stupid and inefficient. If you've ever seen someone in a panic you
know exactly what I mean.
Some Questions that Make You Think
... Here are some questions that make you think, perhaps:
If you don't love to lead,
maybe you shouldn't be leading
Some folks become leaders simply because they
themselves don't want to be led. That is a perfectly valid
reason, but it's also based on avoiding rather than attaining
[LINK], which usually leads to sub-par results.
you're a leader for this reason, perhaps you should consider
becoming self employed? If you ARE already self employed and
now have employees, perhaps you should consider getting
someone who loves to lead to lead your employees for you?
If you don't do your best, maybe you should be doing
There really is no reason to - and no point
in - doing something if you don't feel like doing your best.
Doing your best is a natural consequence of doing something
you love. If you don't want to do your best, you probably
don't love what you're doing. Maybe it's time for a change -
in a direction you'd love?
If the people you're leading
aren't doing their best,
maybe there's something you could
do differently - and better?
Yeah, I know that leaders
aren't all powerful - which is a good thing, considering some
of the famous and infamous leaders of this day and age.
Of course your leadership isn't the only thing affecting
the people you're leading, but being a leader you ARE in fact
important. Your decisions, policies and actions (not the least
of which is your personal example) affect the people you lead.
There's no doubt about it.
So there are all sorts of
reasons to get wise to the characteristics of good leadership.
Let me just take you on a quick tour of some important
Despite the simplicity of my answer above (love
and doing your best while getting others to do the same) what
makes a good leader is also a bit more than that.
leader has many desirable personal qualities AND has learned
the practical skills needed to excel in his or her job.
good leader is an inspiration to the members of his team and
at the same time is able to fulfil or exceed the expectations
of his or her superiors (if such exist).
The traits of
a good leader include personal attributes that also make you a
great person overall. Below are the ones I think are the most
What Makes a Good Leader
Traits of a
good leader include being ...
- honest and authentic
- common sense and a
certain level of general intelligence
- able to understand
himself or herself
- able to understand other people
able to choose and stick by the choice
- focused and goal
- playful, flexible and willing
to try out new things
- willing to make mistakes and learn
(Ah, passionate - there's that bit
about love again).
In fact all
Your Keys to
apply. Which is not surprising as leadership is
very much about relationships.
Always Room for Improvement
Whether you've been a
leader for decades or you're just about to get into the game,
there's always something new you can learn about what makes a
Most good leaders had to learn their skills.
There will always be the rare exceptions of people who
seemingly were born leaders and destined for greatness, but
those people are few and far between. In fact they're so rare
we write about them in the history books.
learn effective leadership styles [LINK] much like they learn
any other type of business skill.
self improvement, motivation, inspiration, goal setting,
management and leadership are huge areas and if you add
spirituality and mindfullness, something which I do encourage,
you're set with lessons to last a lifetime.
audio, leadership books, business leadership coaching,
personal leadership development classes, the occasional
leadership training seminar and having a leadership
development plan are all excellent ways to proceed.
Yeah, yeah, I know. You don't have time for all that. So, pick
one and make
Leadership is both something
we do and something we are. Hence, there' really no way around this
leadership article: Personal Leadership Development
Use Your Strengths
and Compensate for Your Weaknesses
There are lots of tools, theories and techniques to learn about
what makes a good leader, and through careful self reflection you
can not only develop your good qualities, but also pinpoint your
weaknesses and learn how to work around them.
What makes a good
leader in this respect? It's simple, really: Whatever you're good
at, use it and get even better. Whatever you're not good at, either
learn how to improve it or get qualified help.
leaders I have known have gotten bogged down and stressed out by
trying to all the things they didn't have the time (nor the
qualifications) for. Don't let that be you. Get help. You're a
In any case your very reading of this
leadership article is proof of your intention and dedication to
learn what makes a good leader. By doing so you're displaying the
two traits of a good leader which I consider most important ... you
know ... love / passion and doing your best.
Want to know what the most common and
respected general theories of leadership entail?
I'll tell you
about the great man theory, trait theory of leadership, management
theories, situational leadership theory, contingency theory,
transformational leadership theory and more.
At first glance
this might seem like heavy stuff, but I make it easy.
always, I also add my own personal comments and opinions.
Read all of it in another one of the educational leadership
When you ponder what makes a good leader, you may
gain some insight by reading about examples of leadership.
what to do: Look for common traits and compare those to yourself. Be
What makes these leaders so successful? Part
of it may be charisma, but when you look at many different examples
of leadership, you are likely to see the common themes ... like
setting goals, being determined, being passionate and doing your
Consider how those things relate to you.
Nobody is good at everything, and neither are you. Accept this, deal
with it, and you may be destined for your own version of greatness.
Meet 10 women and men who are nice examples of leadership (and
different examples of leadership styles) - in the leadership
Leadership Lesson Plans:
How the Newbie Can Learn More
What Makes a Good Leader
Styles of leadership are often
taught in college business classes.
These professional leadership
lesson plans contain practical actionable steps you can take to
discover what makes a good leader and put it into use in your
professional and personal life.
A leadership theories training
course is certainly beneficial for anyone in a position of
leadership. Your employer (if you have one) might offer you the
chance to take one of these classes. If not, you can probably find
one at your adult education center or college. If nothing else, you
can look for books on theories of leadership, take a video course or
get personal leadership coaching. Read more in one of the upcoming
educational leadership articles:
Leadership Lesson Plans
The traits of a good leader today certainly include a
willingness to learn new leadership styles and stay ahead of the
curve. However, some traits are timeless like being authentic in
your dealings with people and treating everyone with respect - and
all the other traits I mentioned above.
The best leaders don't
try to force people into action; instead they lead people due to
their personal qualities.
Studying about what makes a good
leader will help you gain a deeper understanding of human psychology
and what attracts people and persuades them into action.
Great leaders know how to attract, persuade, foster trust, and inspire
people to act. They also need practical skills like good decision
making, problem solving, and conflict resolution. Read more in yet
another one of the educational leadership articles:
When considering what makes a good leader,
take the time to become clear on leadership versus management.
What makes a good manager is not necessarily the same thing as what
makes a good leader!
To put it simply: Leaders lead people,
including the managers. The managers manage - what and how the
leaders tell them to.
Leaders are often visionaries who look
to the future and determine the overall strategies. Quite often they
network a lot, building relationships and creating collaborations.
Leaders are usually generalists, but at the same time they often
tend to stay more or less within their overall niche - the one where
their true passion lies.
Managers often focus on more on
short term goals. Often they set the policies meant to carry out the
strategies in practice. They, too, often network, but their focus on
collaboration tends to be a bit more small scale, perhaps more along
the lines of teamwork. Managers are a funny blend of generalists and
specialists (a sort of specialized generalists), as witnessed by the
fact that often managers don't care what niche they're working in.
They tend to believe their skills will work in any niche.
When it comes to management vs leadership one isn't better than the
other. Both are necessary. Each is important but because they are
different they require different skills. So what makes a good
manager is pretty much unrelated to what makes a good leader. Read
more in one of the educational leadership articles:
It wouldn't be fair if I didn't just touch upon
the subject of management and told you something about what makes a
great manager. As by now you're well aware, it's not quite the same
as what makes a good leader. The traits, skill sets and several
other things are different. So, if you're interested in management,
please read the management article:
What Makes a Good
Just a few decades ago, women were not allowed to hold important
leadership roles. (In fact, in times past, men, too, were quite
restricted - to heavy handed styles of leadership). In the West this
Female leaders are mainstream today. When it comes
to gender and leadership, males and females are both equally capable.
What they are is different. The gender of does affect focus and
behavior; but women with a predominately masculine charisma and men
with a predominately feminine charisma certainly do exist.
The main point here is this: What matters is not the gender but the
personal qualities. In the end the traits of a good leader
completely transcend gender. Read more about this in one of the
general articles on leadership: Gender and Leadership.
Even though we've come a long way with regard to equality of the
sexes, we still have a ways to go. Female leaders still have
challenges that are unique to them.
Read more in another one of
the general articles on leadership: Challenges of
I've had an interest in quotes for many, many years.
As you'll see towards the very end this page I've started a website
about them (Quotescoop.com).
Consequently I have quite a large
collection of good quotes and I'd like to present you with the best
quotes about leadership. Just note, please, that this particular
page may be some time in coming, as I've got a lot of good quotes to
sort through. But when it get here, it'll be called:
A Favorite Leadership Quote
Ah, I couldn't resist. I had to share a single leadership
quote with you - one of my all time favorite leadership quotes:
To lead people,
walk beside them ... As for the best leaders, the people do not
notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise.
The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate ... When
the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it
~ Lao-tsu ~
Leadership in Times
All else being equal (a typical business expression
which is funny expression in this regard) times have never changed
faster than they do today.
The only thing we can be reasonably sure
of regarding tomorrow ... is that it will be somehow different from
And leadership is all about change. Visionary leadership
is what propels a company into the future. So it makes sense that
leadership styles are constantly evolving as well.
a good leader today may not be relevant in ten years as society
changes. If you have (or are about to get) a leadership role, you
should be prepared to spend your career staying abreast of trends,
because not only will it help your company become more profitable,
it might even be a question of company survival.
Final Thoughts: We're Moving in the Right Direction
spite of the artificial doomsday 'news' of the dominant media today,
in my opinion things overall are getting more balanced, more whole.
This is as true in business as it is in everyday private life.
used to be that leadership and management was all about domination,
dictating policy and negative motivation in the form of competitive
corporate infighting and punishment. Employees were viewed as
inherently lazy, and they were to be treated as mechanically as cogs
in a huge, soulless machine - the corporation. Leadership was
primarily autocratic where employees did what they were told.
Happily, that has changed. Studies (and experience) have showed
what we all know today - that employees are usually happier and more
productive when they feel motivated, inspired, are working as a team
and are involved in the decision making.
leadership styles focus more on motivation, inspiration, teamwork
and building relationships. No longer are the employees viewed as
inherently lazy and even the organization itself is recognized to
have a culture, perhaps even a kind of spirit, a corps de esprit.
- which is rapidly becoming important in
people's personal lives, will soon become important in business too.
Or, that's my prediction.
All these changes have made
leadership roles more attractive to women and brought diversity in
leadership styles to men. They've also made working all the more
interesting and satisfying for all involved.
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Inspirational Quotes, Poems and Funny Short Stuff
If you want, you can also get your personal development, spirituality and general wisdom in an ultra light version - or even add your own wisdom to the site. Just go to the other sister of this website at:
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