What makes a great Leader?

An area I have reflected on during 2020 has been leadership within organisations I have worked in.

I have been extremely fortunate to work with some great people from manufacturing industry and the education sector who have been an inspiration and motivation for me to continually evolve and grow.

The particular leadership skills I have admired and adopted in my own journey are: -

💡 Active Listener - Essential for truly understanding how someone may be feeling or understanding a problem. This means putting aside quality time to listen to what is going on, not just a token gesture.

💡 Calm and consistent temperament - Having a consistent temperament makes a leader approachable. As opposed to the flip side of the coin being erratic in thinking and behaviour.

💡 Authenticity - The best leaders I have worked with have been completely authentic, which can promote trust and in turn gets more out of a team. Show a genuine interest in the people who work in your team to really understand how to get the best of their potential.

💡 Adaptable - A leader may not always know the answer to a problem so seeks advice from team, which empower them and ultimately gets further investment and output.

💡 Transparency - I have also encountered so called leaders who end up doing a box ticking exercise. Unfortunately these manager types get put in people motivation positions and either a) are not really interested in the people side of the job or, b) don't have the skills to be an inspirator as they prefer to tick off the boxes. Sometimes this has also lead to a blinkered vision and lack of transparency and trust.

There are some obvious points one may think should go on the list e.g. Lead by example. In my opinion this should go without saying. Trust is also a common topic of conversation, however, if a leader is authentic as mentioned above, then trust is a by product.

More thoughts to be shared in future blogs, possibly about the learnings from those that may not have been inspirational, as these non-leaders can teach you just as much, such as how not to be.

A shout out goes to CEO Tony Palframan at Phoenix Optical Technologies Ltd from my humble work beginnings and starting me off on a journey and being a truly inspiring leader.

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