Defining Great Leadership

The world is built on the shoulders of great leaders. That being said, sometimes we struggle to pinpoint what makes a great leader. The problem is that without understanding what makes someone admirable, we cannot apply those same habits or develop our leadership skills.

Communication and Collaboration

People often confuse communication for talking. In reality, communication requires a back and forth and effective communication talking and listening. Billionaire, Richard Branson famously said, “Listen more than you talk. Nobody learned anything by hearing themselves speak.” If you want to grow as a person and also build respect – this is the way to do it.

Be clear and concise without talking down to people. Admirable professionals have a mutual respect for all. Transparency breeds confidence in who you are and what you’re doing. As Geoff Colvin explains, “Trusting leaders is important, but we all feel more comfortable knowing what they’re doing and why.

As Kim Kurlanchik Russen, a partner at TAO Group, said, “If people aren’t aware of your expectations, and they fall short, it’s really your fault for not expressing it to them.” With improved communication, you open the door for collaboration. Collaboration makes employees feel empowered and important no matter their position, and they respect you for giving them an opportunity to grow and rise the ranks.

Curiosity is Key

Innovators are one part creativity, one part inquisitiveness. Almost every great leader is an equally great innovator. They understand that ideas can come from everywhere including any person at their company or outside of it. As a result, they listen and appreciate creativity.

As Peter Handal says, “The best leaders understand that innovation and new approaches can come from many places and are always on the lookout for knowledge or people who might inform them and give them an advantage.

Take Accountability and Right Your Wrongs

No one is flawless. You make mistakes, but in the midst of your failure, how you handle yourself in those situations is what is truly important. When in a position of power, the spotlight always focuses on you. As a result, you can’t hide your problems because sooner or later people will notice them. It’s better to own up to it before things spiral out of control.

Good leaders acknowledge their mistakes, but great leaders take it one step further. Sandra Carreon-John, the senior vice president at M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, said, “It’s not only taking responsibility; it’s taking the next step to make it right.