What makes a great leader? How to make the transition from being a leader into a great leader.

By Peninsula group director, Alan Price.

What makes a great leader and would you class yourself as one? This is a question that I ask myself on a daily basis, am I a good leader? To be fair I am sure I could be worse and I strive to be the best I can and to perform to the best of my ability. However it is a question that I get asked on a regular basis, how do I become a great leader? To be honest there is no simple answer and certainly no magic formula. A leader is someone who inspires, advises, always there for his team, but how do you get to become a great leader? It’s not something that happens overnight, you have to put effort into it….a lot of effort. Don’t just “talk the talk” be willing to get stuck in, get your hands dirty so to speak. I also think a great leader never stops learning, there is much to learn, constantly listening to your employees, and taking note of what others in your business ecosystem are saying, however also remember there is much to teach.

Great leaders stick to a clear vision

You need a very clear vision of what your business is and what your aims and objectives are. No matter what issues you face or what difficulties lie ahead just remember that you need to stick with your original concept and most importantly remind your team of it. Of course there will be setbacks, a few knocks along the way but remember there will also be successes, these are the moments that you and your team should cherish.

Great leaders listen

Listening is also an attribute to a great leader, the importance of listening to your staff can not be understated, taking into account their opinions and visions, listening to what they have to say is vitally important. We know that people have great ideas, I myself have an open door policy allowing employees to visit my office and talk about any issues that they may have or share ideas, after all these are the people who carry out the job, they know your business almost as much as you do. Be a leader that listens, takes up concerns, listens to ideas and gives praise when deserved or a few words of encouragement when needed.

Great leaders motivate

You also need to motivate, especially the times when morale is low, take a Monday morning or indeed when obstacles seems too much. A good leader can bring people together, the ability to encourage individuals with big personalities who may not always see eye to eye to work together. Continue with the vision that you originally set out, there are times when a leader has to listen to opinions and arguments, however at the end of the day you need to make a decision that is right for both you and your business.

Great leaders are honest

Finally what I think is the most important attribute to a great leader is integrity and honesty. Diplomacy is important and so are your own honest thoughts, with this in mind it is important that you are always transparent with your workers. Stick to the principle because your employees will see you as someone who always speaks their mind, a leader that will inspire and yet be open and honest, believe me you will certainly be admired for this.

Remember you are a leader, your actions speak louder than words, hopefully my advice will help you make the transition from being a leader into being a great leader.