The Importance of Great Leadership

The Importance of Great LeadershipWhether it’s originated in our History or Culture, whether it’s from watching television or from frequenting our friends and family, we all have a clear picture in our minds of what great leadership is or should be.

We also have in mind which competencies and qualities are ideally associated to great leadership.

Wondering if that picture you nurture in your mind coincides with reality and what makes leadership so important?

What is great leadership?

Leadership is the ability to wheel power, to influence people positively in order to be successful, to bring like-minded individuals together towards a common goal or vision and to translate that vision into reality.

Influence allows leaders to gain consistent support for their views and opinions while building relationships with other individuals, groups or organization on a daily basis. It also helps leaders improve teamwork, and gain more credibility, and respect.

Furthermore, influence is used to win others over, to persuade and convince  without having to subject anyone to manipulation, force, command or control. It consists in a core competency in today’s workplace.

Why is leadership important?

Not everyone is a leader. Not everyone is given an opportunity to lead or not everyone has made the conscious decision to lead. Not everyone wants to be a leader because leadership requires time, knowledge, skills and emotional intelligence.

Some people are actually leaders but not in all aspects of their lives. At last, others leaders emerge later in life.

Moreover, the importance for leadership and the motivation for leadership go hand in hand.

Everybody is motivated differently by leadership: you can be motivated by a search for prestige, status, respect, deference, money, power, an increase in power of decision, a will to make the world a better place by servicing others, a strong desire to embody a vision and to bring that vision into reality.

In addition, without great leadership, chaos flares up.

The key competencies for great leadership

Leadership competenciesI believe that the nine competencies below are the foundation of great contemporaneous leadership:

  1. Demonstrating integrity and instilling trust in employees. Leaders must be capable of being responsible and accountable, of becoming an exemplar of wanted behaviors and values, treating others with respect, of doing the right thing, of walking the walk and walking the talk. According to Warren Bennis, “there is no difference between becoming an effective leader and becoming a fully integrated human being”.
  2. Learning continuously to be able to deal with personal and organizational complexities, to grow and become more effective, and finally to challenge the status quo.
  3. Share vision to inspire has purpose. A vision is what you want to create, to embody and achieve as a leader. The leader’s vision has everything to do with his or her purpose and is often reflected in his or her behavior.
  4. Thinking and acting innovation. Remarkable leaders know how to champion, plan and implement change successfully. .
  5. Possessing good decision-making skills. Leaders are able to identify problems and find solutions, and measure the outcome of those solutions.
  6. Maintaining strong communication skills. Leaders must be good speakers as well as good and active listeners. Communication skills increase the leader’s influence in the workplace. The best way to showcase your communication skills is to:
    • delay your speech, analyze your audience by getting to know their background, situation, history, values, enhance your rhetoric and work on the delivery of your speech.
    • describe the situation you want to change, its impacts and its solutions.
    • ask for other people input by professional courtesy and be open for discussion.
  7. Developing emotional intelligence. Exceptional leaders get to know themselves before getting to know others, lead themselves before leading others, use their emotions at work but don’t let their emotions use them.
  8. Building healthy relationships and connecting with your followers. Indeed, outstanding leaders hold your employees to a higher standard, with higher expectations with the belief that their employees can meet them. They also provide feedback, invest in their employees personal strengths, value collaboration and team work in order to connect to your workforce.
  9. Developing others by mentoring and coaching them in order to sustain high performance employees, to train them for leadership positions and to strengthen employees weaknesses and to help “difficult” employees to fit into the corporate culture. A great leader is a catalyst, facilitator that allow each member of the team to shine. By then, employees commitment and productivity will be increased. Tom Rath and Barry Conchie (2009) said it right in Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow: “Perhaps the ultimate test of a leader is not what you are able to do in the here and now – but instead what continues to grow long after you’re gone.”.

The skills of leaders are transferable to every aspect or role of their lives: they are applicable to their community, neighborhood.

Acquiring all those skills all at once are not realistic: a leader must assess his or her strengths and weaknesses to know which competencies he or she already possess and which competencies to develop first.

Are you currently viewed as a potential leader?

You are viewed as a potential leader if:

  • people regularly come to you for advice, for brainstorming or problem solving,
  • you are progressively given more responsibility on a project by your boss,
  • your boss asks for your opinion on a subject matter before an “above your pay grade” meeting
  • or you are included in your coworkers social activities.

If you are not being perceived as a leader, start with these small steps:

  • Respect the company’s culture, work protocols and procedures and perform well.
  • Offer your help when there is extra work to do in the office. This will show that you are ready to roll up your sleeves for the success of the project, to apply yourself effectively without complaining.
  • Volunteer outside of work. This will allow you to test your leadership skills, to inquire whether leadership is made for you or not, to learn new skills and mostly to make mistakes with less consequence to your career.
  • Read or write articles about leadership development and take courses to increase your knowledge about leadership.
  • Cultivate your strengths and be aware of your weaknesses.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.


About journeytoleadershipblog

I started this blog to improve my leadership skills, to retain and share the tips that I use on a daily basis in the workplace. I also review books that are essential to leadership development.
This entry was posted in Journey To Leadership and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to The Importance of Great Leadership

  1. This article brought many insights to table. I always overlooked the ”social intelligence” aspect of leadership and I love the way you brought that up!

  2. Hi great post. Thanks for laying it out so nicely!

  3. Manisha says:

    Thanks for the lovely tips

  4. mizukitao says:

    Not everyone understands that. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I have been both a leader and a follower. The most important thing that Iearned about being a leader is to never ask a follower to do something that you would not do yourself.

  6. momknowsbest15 says:

    I think everyone can be a leader in some way. I lead at my church by working in the nursery

  7. Cassie Liz says:

    Great read. Having a not so great leader can have such negative effects on a team. I feel quite fortunate to have come across some great leaders myself throughout my career

  8. This article is very usefull specially those that managing a team or group. Leadership attributes are the inner or personal qualities that constitute effective leadership. These attributes include a large array of characteristics such as values, character, motives, habits, traits, competencies, motives, style, behaviors, and skills. – Which this article explained well.

  9. I love all of the checkpoints for becoming more of a leader. My hubby is in his first managerial role and although he is a natural leader it can sometimes be challenging to learn to manage different types of people.

    • Congratulations! Managing people is very difficult and every day is unpredictable. The only thing that your husband can control is himself and his response to different stimuli. Your husband has to develop resistance, nurture his character ethic, hold on to his deep core values and has to prepare himself for conflict resolution. Good luck and thank you for commenting!

  10. Great tips, for me the best one inspire them and learn always, I think is the most important for a leader. Amazing post really helpful as always

  11. KYLIE ABREU says:

    You have outlined some great competencies for leadership. i have never thought about it in such detail before

  12. ccfayeauthor says:

    Great tips! Actually it’s effective and accurate. Thanks for sharing this post and for the motivation!

  13. It is so important to teach our kids leadership skills. My Son has really taken to the leadership role. He has always been the one to take charge in a situation.

  14. Absolutely true. While not everyone could be a leader, one should always be the leader of himself. So he could somehow dictate where he should go!

  15. Doran Tomoko says:

    These are all really good tips. Sometimes, we are only as strong as our leaders. Thats why being a good leader is so important! Xx-Doran @HauteBeautyGuide

  16. Cathy Mini says:

    This is so spot on! I know quite a few people who could have benefitted from reading this before entering their roles in leadership (a few ex-bosses). So insightful!

  17. emsry14 says:

    I wish every person in a position of power understood this! Leaders make all the difference!

    • Not everyone on a position of power understand this and not everyone accesses power position playing by the rules. However, sooner or later, their abuse of power catch up with them. It is best to develop great character and great success will follow. Thanks emsry14 for commenting!

  18. When I was younger, I was more of a follower. Once out of school, I definitely became more of a leader. Now, as a parent, I would like to raise leaders, but I don’t think I am one myself.

  19. alisonrost says:

    Great thoughts about leadership. This year I’ve also taken a couple of Brene Brown’s classes on leadership. They’ve been really valuable! x

  20. Good read! Thanks for sharing this useful topic. Great leadership brings progress.

  21. Thank you for sharing what is leadership is. Being a leader is not only all about leafing the team. A leader should also know how to listen listen from his/her team and help them guide to come up with kick-ass idea. It is about the success of the whole team.

  22. You’re definitely right that not everyone is a leader. If we had a world full of just leaders, competition would be intense!

  23. Really helpful article with great tips!

  24. Really helpful article with some great insights regarding leadership and why it’s so important in modern society. Glad I read it!

  25. I would say I am a leader in some things and not a leader in other things. I enjoy both roles.

  26. lmbadmin1 says:

    Leadership is very very important. You are so right that some people are meant to be leaders and some are not (and there’s nothing wrong with that). You point out great qualities of a leader!

  27. I am a leader in our Church and we are walking through John Maxwell’s book The Leadership Handbook. The concept of the moment goes with your point about mentoring others… “If it’s lonely at the Top, You’re not doing something right”. We have a responsibility to pour what we’ve learned into others to raise up the next generation of great leaders.

    • Looking to mentor, coach and develop leaders is the night of success for any leader, besides having a company that can run itself. Then the leader knows that he or she has done something right! Thank you for stopping by the Journey To Leadership!

  28. Wow I have so much to develop if I want to be a leader. Great list as I can now make use of that as a checklist.

  29. I learned early on that I’m not meant to be a leader. Or maybe I just didn’t understand my role as a leader. If I’m ever in that position again, I’m going to work on improving the experience by following your advice.

  30. I think everyone at work and in university should at least mentor someone if not have a little leadership role. It’s so important to develop that skill early as it essential for personal development and also it helps to understand your boss better later in professional life.

  31. Cecilia Elise Wallin says:

    Yes, good leadership is very important in a workplace, and it requires good decision making skills ans emotional intelligens. I fully agree in that a great leader is a catalyst!

  32. Cynthia W says:

    I think the ability to lead and mold others is an important trait for good leadership skills. That
    tone point stood out for me the most.

  33. This article was so helpful. Great leadership can have such a positive impact on an organization!

  34. It is important to have great leaders in all different aspects of our communities, families, churches, and schools.

  35. These are all really great tips! I took a few management courses in my MBA program, and a lot of this resonates with what I learned. Good emotional intelligence is sooo important to managing effectively!

  36. KuminKueche says:

    Great post with very helpful tips, thanks for sharing!

  37. I agree its great to offer to help. However, it’s important that you don’t let yourself get cast as a supporting character– someone who is just handed tasks they really aren’t responsible for.

  38. Great post! I also think great leaders earn some of their chops when others see what they are doing for the company along with individuals on a consistent basis, regardless of workplace distractions.

    • Very much so… Leaders also earn their chops when other individuals see that the leader has core values and has the organization’s best interest at heart. Leaders have to show higher standards and discipline than everyone else. Thank you for commenting!

  39. Pingback: The Importance of Great Leadership — Journey To Leadership | Team OCC

  40. Pingback: Detecting And Dealing With Toxic Leaders | Journey To Leadership

  41. Pingback: 7 Pragmatic Principles Of Office Politics | Journey To Leadership

  42. Pingback: 30 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Themselves | Journey To Leadership

  43. Pingback: 13 Signs You Are Meant To Be A Leader | Journey To Leadership