For subscribers only

Leadership 101: Part 10 – Being a Good Leader to Becoming a GREAT Leader

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. - Winston Churchill



Here are a few essential attributes that turn good leaders into great leaders:  


• Self-confidence: Developing self-confidence is essential to give confidence to others and effectively communicate your vision and ideas. 


• Vision: Not only do leaders have a goal, but they also have a vision where goals can take place in the long term. 


• Open-mindedness: Be open to learning; no one holds the truth. Knowing how to question oneself and still being curious about any new opportunity or possibility is essential to making a dream come true. The leader knows that alone, he cannot achieve much. Unity, and therefore collective intelligence, is strength. 


• Exemplarity: This is a fundamental principle. To be listened to and followed, one must set an example and apply oneself to what one preaches. 


• Consistency is one’s values and convictions: A great leader will not be able to convince himself if he is not genuinely in agreement with the project and the ideas he defends. 


• Multidisciplinary intelligence: A good leader instinctively senses what his collaborators are capable of and their personality and way of working. He can orchestrate his world and lead it to the best possible success for everyone. 


• Empathy: An integral part of a developed emotional intelligence that enables the leader to get the best out of each person by allowing them to develop fully. 


• Freedom: Independence of thoughts and action is intimately correlated with self-confidence and a sense of responsibility. 


• Responsibility: Linked to the earlier point, the leader, free in his choices, must take responsibility for his decisions, risk-taking, and mistakes. 


In addition to the qualities detailed below, a great leader must know:  


• Take the initiative: This is often where the great leader is admired and respected because he is determined, confident, and daring. 


• Defend and impose his ideas gently and respectfully: 

What is the point of having clever ideas if one cannot? Present a respectful and courteous nonviolent way? Knowing how to convince is, so, a significant asset. 


• Communicate effectively: An essential skill to get your ideas across and o win the support of your troops. Feedback is an integral part of this, as it allows the leader to remain attentive to his collaborators, to hear new possibilities and opportunities, etc. 


• Recognize the talents of others: One of the pillars of leadership consists of finding, developing, and orchestrating individual and collective skills to lead everyone to success. 


• Invite change and innovation: Disruption and innovation are two dominant notions. They allow you to continually question your ideas, your work, and the entire group to reach the heights you dream of. 


• Motivate and recognize others: A great leader must also manage his troops, and play on motivation and meaning at work, to keep his position as an ongoing leader. 

Subscriber content only

To access this content and all of our unlimited content subscribe now