What differentiates a good leader from a great leader?

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Improve these five qualities to be an effective leader

2 min read

John C Maxwell quite aptly defined a leader when he said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” ‘Leader’ is not a title that one can take up in an organization, you become a leader when people start following you. A leader leads by setting examples through her/his own demeanor and decisions she/he takes under pressing circumstances.

Being a leader comes with a lot of responsibility, people rely on them to take the right decisions for them. And while some believe that leaders are born not made, it’s not entirely true. If individuals work diligently on their skills, they can actually prove to be great leaders.

These are the 5 areas you should concentrate on if you wish to become an effective leader

1. Be approachable and trustworthy

You should be one for the team always. Leaders are influencers and guides to people who follow them, and this relation balances much on the pillar of trust. Share your vision with your team, tell them what you expect from them, and how you will support them achieve their goals. Once people see you as genuine and approachable, they’ll be willing to place their trust in you.

In your management style, make sure you encourage feedback, ask for people’s viewpoint, be empathetic, and your team will see right through and will make greater efforts in helping you achieve your vision.

2. Surround yourself with people smarter than you

A leader also needs a great team to fall back on. While you may know how to execute many things, doesn’t mean that you have to. Build your team with smart people with great work ethics, people who take ownership not only of their part of the job but for the entire company, and participate more proactively for the benefit of the brand and to pull up the people they work with.

3. Acknowledge your mistakes

Well, it’s only human to err, and since leaders (at least for now), are made of the same skin, they too are bound to fumble at places. However, the key here is accepting the mistake, making efforts in correcting it and learning from it. A true leader will never try to sweep their faults under the carpet or try to pass the buck on others. It’s better to say “I messed up,” than hiding from it and losing your people’s trust.

4. Delegate effectively

A good leader always finds ways to lift his team members up and helps them realize and surge their potential. Now that you have surrounded yourself with smart people and hired the right people for the job, delegate responsibilities and put faith in them that they will deliver. Don’t micromanage, trust your team’s judgment, they come with certain skill sets and experience. Teams perform better when they are not spoonfed every little part of the process and are allowed to use their own faculties to deliver the projects.  

5. Serve Selflessly

Where it’s never a good practice to micromanage, completely distancing yourself from your people is also not going to bear sweet fruits. A great leader is always a great team player. Where you allow people to explore their talents and prove their mettle with each project, don’t hesitate to take a deep dive into things when they come to you for help. Recognize people for their hard work and ideas, pitch in your support. Leaders who aren’t afraid of building camaraderie with their team create loyalty amongst their team which eventually reflects on the number sheet as well.

What is the one good example of leadership you have learned in your experience?

Nayan Khemani