What Makes a Good Leader?

What Makes a Good Leader?Being a leader is a serious job, especially in troubling times such as the current COVID19 outbreak. What makes a good leader is having the ability to adapt your leadership style to different situations, which includes being able to respond effectively to a crisis. During times of adversity, your people will require extra motivation and support to maintain their morale.

In our last blog, we looked at different leadership styles, using Daniel Goleman’s Leadership Framework, Harvard Business Review 2000 model. Did you recognise your own style? In this article, we explore ways you can learn to adapt your ownstyle, as well as how to recognise your capabilities as a leader.

There are many types of leader in different walks of life, and this role requires a certain set of skills and often some technical expertise. In business, a leader is defined as someone who has responsibility for others – supervisors, managers, directors or executives.
You may have a natural flair for leadership and certain qualities that already enable you to bring out the best from your team. In times of adversity, your natural leadership style may need to shift to a different approach, if you want to continue to get the best out of your people.

Being able to adapt is the key to success
To be a successful leader, it’s important to develop a varied set of
capabilities, so you can quickly react to stressful situations as they arise. Being able to instinctively draw from a leadership ‘toolkit’ will enable you to adapt quickly to situations whilst under pressure. Being adaptable will also make your job easier and more fulfilling.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What style do you use when you’re relaxed and calm?
  • How do you react when you’re under stress?
  • Do you focus on tasks or the big picture?

These are all factors to consider when you want to get to know your true style of leadership. Understanding your own capabilities as a leader will act as a guide to help you build your teams around you.

What Makes a Good Leader?Being able to adapt to different team structures
Some leadership styles will be more effective with certain team structures. As many workers are currently home-based due to the COVID19 outbreak, certain leadership styles may prove more effective than others.

For example, if you have team members working remotely, then the Affiliate and Coaching approaches are both useful styles. The Affiliate style is balanced and empathetic, which is useful for developing trust and loyalty. The Coaching style is synonymous with creativity, innovation and being bold.

The key to keeping your team motivated is to demonstrate your trust, empathy and support. At the same time, give them the opportunity to demonstrate autonomy and responsibility, which in turn will help you maintain team morale. This approach may be particularly useful at the moment, when your team members may be working in their own homes, which is likely to feel unfamiliar and unsettling.

Here are two examples where our Founder, Jeanette Miller, recently helped to develop key leadership styles:

“I helped an MD build his team for future scalability. We explored his own leadership capabilities, as well as those of his team, and identified gaps. He then created a plan, which they’re now working through to develop the whole team.

Another scenario involves working with a group of leaders, who had only been together as a team for a few months. As part of our work, we gathered feedback from their team members on their leadership styles. The exercise provided each leader with some honest and individual information to help them with their personal and team development.”

What Makes a Good Leader?Be aware of your strengths
Knowing your own strengths as a leader and bringing in people around you who have the expertise to fill any gaps, will help you to create a stronger team. It can be difficult to critique your capabilities and recognise your own leadership style. If you’re unsure, then a good place to start is by asking those around you to give you some honest ‘360’ feedback.

Despite the current global crisis, over time, businesses will naturally evolve, and marketplaces change. A good leader is focused on maintaining long-term resilience and business continuity.
Being able to recognise your strengths and areas for development will give you clarity over your capabilities. Being able to adapt your leadership style, so you can get the best out of your people, is an invaluable quality.

As Aristotle once said, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Would you like to learn how to develop and adapt your leadership style? Would you like to keep your teams motivated and productive, whilst they work at home during this crisis? Get in touch to explore a different approach to leadership in the safety and confidence of a coaching relationship.