How to be a good leader?

The business world is awash with articles on what makes a good leader so we thought that we would stop all the theorizing and get to the point by applying some simple MakeMeClever.com logic starting with a definition...

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a leader is:

  • The person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country;
  • The person or team that is winning a sporting competition at a particular time;
  • An organization or company that is the most advanced or successful in a particular area.

From the first definition, we can see that to be a business leader you need to be leading (or 'commanding') people. This means that to be a leader you must have followers. This quickly brings us to our first conclusion;

Conclusion 1follow

  • A leader must have followers.

As to whether it is leaders who create followers or followers who create leaders we can leave to further debate and will continue our investigation by looking into the relationship between leaders and followers.

Some 'leaders' gain their followers through threats and fear. An example of this could be "If you don't do what I say you will lose your job", "Your pay review is coming up!", "Business is not looking good, we may need to make cuts..." 

The problem here is that people who lead by fear or threats are not true leaders because their followers are not following the person directly. They are following their need to keep their job and their income and not the person themselves.  

Conclusion 2.Stocks

  • People follow a good leader because they want to and not because they are forced to.

From this conclusion, we can also add that a leader who leads by fear is not a true leader. They may be an employer with followers but we can now see that those who lead by fear is not the same as a true leader of people.

This then means that to be a good leader you must have people who want to follow you and support you which means that a good leader must be good at looking after their followers otherwise they will not follow.

Conclusion 3. safe

  • A good leader must be good at looking after their followers.

Stopping our investigation at this point would mean that all nurses are good leaders simply because they are good at looking after others. This may be true of many but not necessarily in every case so we need to look at this in more depth.

If you look after others well but do not have a clear direction or know where you are going then you will not have followers as by definition you have to be going somewhere to be able to give others something to follow. This brings us to our 4th conclusion:

Conclusion 4.success

  • A good leader must have a firm idea of where they are going.

Some call this 'vision' whilst others may refer to leadership goals, aims, direction or drive. Whatever you prefer to call it this conclusion still leaves a small problem as we could have a very nice person who looks after people and has some great 'vision' but never actually gets around to telling anyone about it. Clearly, they will not have followers as no one will know where they are going or why. This brings us to our fifth conclusion:

Conclusion 5.speech

  • A good leader must be a good communicator to ensure that their followers know where they are going and why. 

We now have enough information to put together a Clever Community summary and answer to the question...

What makes a good leader?
A good leader is someone who looks after their followers. They do not rely on fear to gain or keep their followers but are supportive and generous. A good leader has followers who are willing to follow them through their own desire as they have trust and faith in their leader. They have a clear vision of the future and are able to clearly communicate their vision so that their followers know where they are going and why.

Years of debate summed up in five simple sections by applying some MakeMeClever.com logic!

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Posted in Cleverness at work.