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How to be a Good Leader: Are You a Good Leader or a Bad Leader?

How to be a Good Leader: Are You a Good Leader or a Bad Leader?

How can you be a good leader? Are you a good leader or a bad leader? Sounds a little bit like the Wizard of Oz, we know. Similar to that classic story - what type of leader you are can determine if your people respond to you more like Munchkins or Monkey Soldiers. While writing this article I found something interesting while researching this topic. It made me raise an eyebrow.  How to be a leader generates roughly 3,370,000,000 hits – yet how to be a good leader generates only 1,240,000,000 monthly global hits.

A good boss makes those they lead realize they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could. - Charles Erwin Wilson

Leadership Development Services

So why is that?

I realize it is probably because of many different factors. However, I was intrigued that people are not more interested in how to be a good or even great leader. Is mediocrity taking over? Perhaps the reason is people are more focused on searching for the topic based on a particular role than from the perspective of how to excel in that given role. Or maybe it’s because of the uptick in entrepreneurship or the rapidly changing workforce conditions triggered by external factors. Regardless, building a successful business requires more than being a leader, it requires being a good leader– one who can create followership, build trust, and maintain engagement.

So what makes a good leader or a bad leader?

High level -  here are a few qualities that make a good leader and a bad leader.

Good Leader Bad Leader
  • Vision
  • Tunnel vision
  • Transparency
  • Secrecy
  • Inspiration
  • Pessimism
  • Authenticity
  • Disingenuous
  • Honesty
  • Dishonesty
  • Trust
  • Mistrust
  • Socialized power
  • Personalized power
  • Values equality
  • Practices oppression
  • Recognition for a job well done
  • Ignoring a job well done
  • Helps others succeed
  • Only helps themselves succeed
  • Empathy
  • Narcissism
  • Accountability
  • Blame

So how do you become a good leader?

Short answer – develop and excel in the “good leader” qualities listed above – you can get started in 3 steps. Feedback: The first step in being a good leader is feedback. Solicit input from those you lead regarding your actions and behaviors and how those behaviors positively and negatively impact them. Awareness: The next step in being a good leader is having self-awareness. Take the feedback on those actions and behaviors that may negatively impact those you lead and making a conscious effort to be aware of when they are occurring and why. Action: The third step in being a good leader is action. Take action to act on feedback and increased awareness. Work to increase your positive behaviors and decrease those with a potential negative impact. Training, coaching, and mentoring are all great ways to increase and develop new skills that can have a positive impact on those you lead.

When the best leader's work is done the people say, "We did it ourselves." - Lao Tzu

Checklist: How to be a Great Leader

Here’s hoping that most of you desire to be good – even great – leaders!  So what qualities or strategies do you think make the difference between a bad leader and a good leader?
About Scott Span, MSOD, CSM: is CEO at Tolero Solutions. As a people strategist, leadership coach, and change and transformation specialist, his work is focused on people. Through his consulting and training work he supports clients to survive and thrive through change and transition and create people-focused cultures and a great employee experience. Through his coaching work, he supports people willing to dig deeper to identify and overcome what’s holding them back, change behaviors, accelerate performance and achieve their goals. Email | Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Blog FacebookYouTube | Instagram *All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, publication, and all other use of any and all of this content is prohibited without the authorized consent of Tolero Solutions and the author.