Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Great Leader? 

It’s a trick question:  We all have what it takes to be a great leader if we develop and practice the necessary qualities and skills! A recent HBR article noted that, being a great leader is “…a journey of continuous learning and growth”. It’s a process — one that thrives on embracing challenges, seeking feedback, fostering connections, and cultivating understanding”. Skills need to be developed such as,

  • Excellent at communicating, 
  • Active Listening 
  • Curiosity
  • Problem-Solving
  • Delegating
  • Navigating Challenges
  • Emotional Intelligence 

Great leaders also need to foster other skills such as, humility, courage, vulnerability, and self-awareness. 

It might seem like a tall order, but it is a process, and one requiring practice. It’s not about getting it right or being right. Instead it’s about admitting mistakes and doing better.  Great leaders aren’t born that way but become that way. It is an intentional way of being. And it can begin with an aspiration to be a great leader in all walks of life and regardless of one’s title.

The qualities of great leaders are on a continuum and most leaders are in different stages of that continuum. It’s not a linear journey along the continuum and is usually taking one step forward and two backward along the way. But continuing the journey for all leaders within your organization is the foundation for a safe and sound culture, that fosters thriving and engaged employees, and a flourishing and prosperous business.

There isn’t one ‘best’ style of leadership that makes a great leader, and one style certainly doesn’t fit all.  James Scouller summarized 3 Levels of Leadership based on a meta-analysis conducted on the different leadership development programs available. The model provides a solid framework for developing the qualities of great leader.

  • Personal Skills: Intrapersonal level skills such as, Self-Awareness, Emotional Intelligence, Energy Management.
  • Private, or what we think of as Social or Interpersonal Skills such as: Listening, Communication, Curiosity, How We Relate to Others.
  • Public or Team Skills: for example, Collaboration, Problem solving, Inspiring, Instilling Meaning & Purpose.

Set an aspiration – an intention – for yourself or for your organization and begin the journey! This is a great model to cultivate all of the skills and qualities to be a successful leader, regardless of where you or anyone else on your team is along the continuum. AND, it is a great leader model to cultivate safety and well-being of the employees and the organization.

HBR: 8 Qualities of Successful Leaders

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