What makes a good leader?

Over the past several months, I’ve had numerous discussions with our CEO Tim Reed as to what makes a good leader. I thought you might find some of his comments as thought provoking as I have.

We’ve done a lot over the past couple of years to boost our team engagement and evolve our company culture into an even more constructive environment, something we’re about to be recognised for publicly I’m proud to say!

There are specific leadership and coaching programs in place for our most senior execs, for the leaders under them (whether they manage staff or are specialists in their field), and for those on the next level. There’s quite a lengthy spectrum between the doer and the leader, and many of us have progressed along our journey towards the latter thanks to the company’s investment in developing its team.

I’m sure you’re aware that at the core of a happy and engaged workforce is a great leader. Anyone can be a manager, but can they be an inspirational, affiliative and collaborative leader?

Food for thought… Anyway, here are some gold nuggets from Tim Reed:

Q. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt as a leader?

Continue to challenge the status quo in everything you do – don’t be scared to experiment and swim against the tide, but always ensure your feet are firmly enough on the ground to know when you need to cut your losses. The hardest part about innovation is not what, but when – the only way to answer when is to keep giving it a go.

Q. What are the most important characteristics of leadership in business?

Leaderships starts with vision. People (customers, team members, partners) need to understand where your business is heading. A vision is far more compelling if it is told with passion – real belief from the CEO. Vision is great for inspiration, but business results require a clearly laid out plan that lets everyone know what they need to do and how success will be measured. These basics create the foundations for success.

Q. How does a good leader build a successful business culture?

A great customer culture can only be created by a highly engaged team.  For us it starts inside and then flows outside. This starts with building vision – something that unifies the team. It then requires great managers who are clear in their expectations and genuine in their praise and recognition. Finally it requires investment in each individual – most people value new skills and the chance to shine more highly than extra money.

I would love to know your thoughts on what attributes a great leader offers their business.

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