Leadership Lessons

Become a Great Leader

by Jenny Sharkey

Great organisations are led by people who personally balance: character, charisma and competence. These leaders create environments of trust, openness and freedom. They…

  1. Face the truth and deal with it, no matter how tough

Leading inevitably means dealing with negative situations and people. Great leaders don’t just wait for negative things to happen – they seek out and anticipate these things to nip them in the bud before they blossom into something more destructive. They encourage employees to be brutally honest about underperforming projects. Early identification allows for early and probably more effective solutions to be discovered.

  1. Take responsibility for their delegations

Great leaders follow up on delegated projects and make sure people are clear on their responsibilities, and accountable for them. They encourage discussion and adapt plans if needed, always keeping communication clear and easy to follow.

  1. Are positive

Great leaders have learnt that people flourish when the culture they are working in has a feedback ratio of more than 5:1 positive to negative. These leaders are always looking for opportunities to identify, reward and replicate the behaviour they want to see repeated. They also find and keep promoting their star players.

  1. Move decisively when something or someone needs to go

Great leaders know they are going to break a few hearts along the road to great effectiveness. They therefore move quickly (and as painlessly as possible) to make sure projects or people who are underperforming or not in line with the overall strategic vision get an opportunity to change, and if this doesn’t happen, they get changed.

  1. Have readily understood and achievable goals

Great leaders break down large goals into smaller, clear goals which can be achieved in small units of time, such as every quarter. They let their team have regular opportunity to celebrate small successes which lead to the big successes.

  1. Go for consistency with growth

Great leaders make things simple so that people can work quickly in an expected and reliable environment. They streamline processes so that the whole team is on the same page regarding how things get accomplished in the workplace. However, they don’t stop there, but they keep pressing on for ways to improve and grow and they make the process of anticipating change, and strategizing for improvement and growth part of the routine of the workplace.