May 20, 2003

What really makes a great leader?

I need your feedback on this.

As some of you who have read my site with any degree of regularity may have noticed, leadership is an issue of major importance to me. It is my job, my hobby, my major, and one of my more important focuses for life.

What do you all consider to be some very important things that a leader must know and be. Explain why.

To get you started, here is a couple:

I believe that a leader must love people, if he/she does not, then he/she has no business being a leader. Further clarification could follow, but this is good to get started.

also, I believe that the leaders priorities should be first to the corp. (ie church, government, business, etc...) and then to the people he/she leads. Peers and direct supervisors follow afterwards.

that should be enough to get started.

ps I will be gone for the next 8 days, I look forward to reading what you have to say while I am away.


Posted by GodzScout at May 20, 2003 01:05 AM

First off, I think a leader should be more devoted to his people than the company. If not, your subordinates will think you don't care about them, therefore, they may not be willing to go the extra mile for you.

As a leader you need personality. Learn about those you are in charge of. Again, they will work harder for you because you're taking an interest in them. It also makes a nicer working environment.

Leadership is partially a natural tallent, but also takes some skills to be good at it. In the Coast Guard, we have leadership training courses to teach such skills.

Leadership requires backbone. You can't give in to everything your subordinates want. You have to be willing to give constructive critisism. If you can't pull your best friend aside and tell them they're doing something wrong, then you shouldn't be a leader. As a leader you need to be able to fix problems when they arise.

Leadership requires trust. If a junior person comes to you with a problem or a gripe, don't run to the head man and tell them what so and so said. Again, if you trust your leader, you will be willing to work harder for them.

Think of a leader in military terms. Remember Saving Private Ryan? Tom Hank was an excellent leader. As the leader you take the fall if someone under you messes up. Yes, they may suffer some consequences too, but ultimatly you are responsible.

A leader should be ethical. Don't take advantage of your power. Don't show favortism. Treat everyone the same, even the ones you don't like. Don't let that cute girl go home early if she's not done with her work. Remember, you're responsible for your people's work so if they don't get it done, it looks bad on you (ie "Why didn't this get done?" says the head man).

I'll let someone else take over now...

Posted by: Ryan at May 20, 2003 10:56 PM

I'm gonna chime in with Ryan on this one. People are far more important than the corporation. People are the corporation. A leader must have a sincere desire to serve and help people reach their best.

Posted by: Jason Wall at May 21, 2003 11:16 AM

I agree with Ryan & Jason,(as you know my saying) " Love and Respect " Do to others as you would like others to do for you.

Posted by: Klamm, M.D. at May 26, 2003 09:25 PM

First off, I think a leader should be more devoted to his people than the company. If not, your subordinates will think you don't care about them, therefore, they may not be willing to go the extra mile for you.

I partially disagree, and here is why: My people need to know that I will do anything that I can for them, but we need the rules and establishment that is provided by the company. My people need to know that within the allowable limits of the company and the culture of the company I will do whatever I can for them, I believe that they will go that extra mile if this is the case, but they need to understand that our purpose is for being there is to accomplish the task given to us by the company. If the company is not the first priority then your effort to help the people might go beyond what is healthy for your #1 intention, to accomplish the task. Now this may change due to the specific environment, but it is still my humble oppinion that it is true.

appreciate the comment, keep 'em comin'

Posted by: Read Wall at May 30, 2003 12:29 AM