What Makes a Good Leader?
To be a great leader, I think, takes dedication and it takes discipline. It’s like anything, I think there are people that have natural abilities – whether it’s athletic or musical or whatever – and I think leaders are much the same. There are people that have a natural ability to lead, but to become a really good leader you have to work at it like anything else. Unless you have that discipline, unless you set aside the time, unless you really study the science of leadership, I don’t think you have a chance to progress, so for me good leaders are that. They take the time, they invest in themselves, they learn from other people, and another thing that I find that great leaders do is they share. They become great mentors. The old adage “the best way to learn something is to teach it” – I really do believe that. I think leaders that learn but then teach, also become better leaders.
You know, the best advice I could give a leader has always been buy as many of my books as possible. After I’ve told them that, I think the idea is continue to learn. And continue to be open. Be a good listener. I mean, these are all sort of catch phrases that we’ve heard, but I think there really is wisdom in that. If you’re always curious and listening, and willing to learn, then I think as a leader you can progress. I think it’s a lifelong mission really too. No one is the perfect leader and nobody is finished in their leadership development. But certainly the journey along the way, if you’re open and listening, you have a chance to improve on your ability to bring people together and lead and get things done.