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What Makes a Great Leader in Business?

Aug 17, 2007
When you're asked about a leader in the context of a workplace, who springs to mind? Maybe your current or a former boss, a head of department, or maybe even the company Chief Executive Officer.

Leadership is a complex subject. We should all consider ourselves leaders, particularly those of us looking to progress our careers beyond the current nine to five days we love (or endure). Whatever our occupation, admin staff to managers, refuse collectors to chefs, we have a duty to behave in a professional manner and take pride in our work - after all, we chose our path. Part of our day to day role is almost certainly likely to be influencing others around us, whether we are aware of that fact or not.

Simply by passing by our colleagues, we will no doubt influence them. They will judge us, and form opinions of our ability, our social interaction with them, and whether or not they enjoy our company on both a professional and personal level. This influence is a very powerful tool, it can motivate and demotivate those around us, and if used positively can make our own lives easier.

This motivation we silently pass on is a form of leadership, and if you observe most great leaders you will more than likely be able to see this quality very regularly. Team members tend to show a great deal of respect for their leader - and rightly so, they are all working to the same goals.

Naturally, if a colleague has ambition, he will most likely be keen to support and impress his leader - logically recommendations of promotions will tend towards the more helpful members of a leaders team.

Influence and motivation are not however enough to make a good leader great, the commonly discussed listening and interpretation skills are paramount to a teams success, communication is only truly achieved if both parties understand a message to have the same meaning.

Leadership, simply, is not just about getting the job done. It is about getting the job done effectively, efficiently and most importantly with the support and growing respect of the people you lead. Generally speaking it is not possible to achieve effective and efficient performance without these supporting and respectful team members, so those attributes can be considered the building blocks to your success.

Why not stop from time to time, and consider your role, who you are leading, and whether you have done your best to not only support your leader, but also those influenced around you?
About the Author
From the Front discusses leadership, primarily in the workplace. Find out more about getting the best at work at http://www.fromthefront.com
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