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Five things every great leader gets right

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Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

Despite all the press given to the rotten leaders in the world, workplaces all across the United States are filled with great leaders. These leaders share some commonalities that make them great. For example …


  1. Great leaders listen 
    There is so much noise in the world, and each of us is constantly called to filter out the unnecessary while holding on to the rest. It can be hard to hear, let alone listen, in such an environment. Even so, great leaders manage to do just that. Great leaders know how to slow down, focus, and listen to what’s being said to and around them. As a result they are better at recognizing and anticipating problems and opportunities, and they’re able to form lasting bonds with people who appreciate the business as much as they appreciate being heard.
  2. Great leaders "walk the talk"
    Great leaders have integrity and can be trusted to behave in a way consistent with their stated beliefs. Nobody wants to follow a phony who says one thing and does another or a coward who believes whatever he has to believe to get along. However, people will willingly and enthusiastically follow someone who consistently displays good character by being transparent, honest, and trustworthy.
  3. Great leaders are okay with their humanity and the humanity of others 
    Great leaders know that business is all about people and that people like and deserve to be treated as human. And while this may sound like a rather basic truth, many leaders miss it because they’re too busy creating a façade of strength or power or omniscience or whatever it is they believe will make them appear to be more “leader-like,” rather than being okay with being a real person with real faults who in turn can accept the faults of others. Such leaders know that it’s okay to make mistakes, have an occasional bad day, not know something, or be vulnerable.
  4. Great leaders seek a good idea wherever it can be found 
    A great leader is always on the look out for a good idea wherever it can be found, because she knows that anyone—including her peers, subordinates, and competitors—can have an idea that will benefit her business. And because the great leader cares more about good ideas than her pride, she’ll take that good idea and run with it, giving credit where credit is due to team members who contributed to her success even while accepting full responsibility for any failures.
  5. Great leaders are humble
    Every great leader knows that his success is not by his doing alone and that the support and assistance of others, as well as dumb luck, play an important role. This knowledge keeps him humble, grateful, and grounded, all qualities that ensure he’ll never harm his business because he failed to recognize his own limitations or the gifts of others.

Are you a great leader, or do you know a great leader? Leave a comment telling us all about it!

4 Comments

  1. 4 Crystal Spraggins 24 Oct

    @Francine. Sad indeed. I read a stat that it takes on average, 22 months for an employee to recover from a bad boss. 22 months!!

     

    @Assir. Unfortunately, yes, as Francine implied, some leaders do indeed possess traits opposite those on the list. I've personally encountered quite a few. How do they get and keep their jobs, you ask? Well, they may be adept at hiding their less desirable traits from the powers that be, they may be highly intuitive and manipulative, they may have inherited their positions, they may be surrounded by people who never challenge their behavior--there could be all kinds of reasons.

    @Liz. I'm so happy to hear that! Great leadership makes all the difference.

  2. 3 Francine 24 Oct
    It's so sad when you end up with the polar opposite of this list.   One or 2 traits might be tolerable --but to possess the antithesis of everything on this list, it's endless suffering for the poor souls that have the dumb luck to work for such a person. 
  3. 2 Assir 23 Oct
    Do we actually find such people in industry on top positions. I agree that great leaders have these qualities but do actually the people with such qualities get chance to be on top positions. As I have expereinced, top positions in industry are acquired by people with traits opposite to these. Does anyone agree to my say??
  4. 1 Liz Worthington 23 Oct

    This about nails it in a short, yet comprehensive, manner. When I think of my boss, who also happens to be the President and CEO of our company, I can check off every one of these traits. He's so humble, in fact, he prefers not to be called anyone's boss--I think he'd much prefer being labeled a "leader", and a darn good one he is!

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