What Makes A Good Leader?

Recently in my Management Communications unit of my degree, we have been discussing the terms of a good leader. What makes someone a good leader? Are they born with that strength? Or are they made and developed into one?

Dominic Walters, a communications consultant, came into our lecture today to discuss these questions further. He came up with the idea that not only are people able to become leaders but some are born leaders. Take Martin Luther King for example; I’m pretty sure he didn’t have a PR team when he gave us that iconic ‘I have a dream…’ speech. It came from dedication and the main thing a leader needs ‘focus’.

One big key factor that a leader needs, is the ability to communicate. Without communication there wouldn’t be any leadership. I was given this quote today that says Internal Communications is ‘Translating policy into activity through people’. What a strong but correct statement. It’s those connections within your community, whether it’s at work or with a group of friends, that helps to encourage and direct your cohort into what you want as a leader. Without communication, no one would be controlled. There wouldn’t be any leaders. Surely?!

Valuing People? Getting things done? Ask yourself, which type are you. Are you the type which understands a persons needs and sympathises with them or do you get straight to the point and not take any unnecessary drama? Which ever one you are, that’s the type of leader you would be. However are some of you saying, both? If you are then you are the perfect type of leader!!

Yes, that’s right. A leader should be a bit of both. There is no point in having someone too soppy to put their foot down when need be; or on the other side having someone who’s hard as stone and can’t communicate in a manner, which will give others the motivation to do what is needed from their leader.

One leader we discussed today which was slightly controversial was Adolf Hitler, but if you look at him in a leadership sense, he did do all that was write to persuade people of his actions. He managed to communicate with a certain group of people of what he thought was the right way of living and gained an army in the process. I won’t discuss what horrid things he did (my point of view) as that’s just getting out of context. However, as a leadership point of view he did a pretty good job of using the characteristics that a leader needs and getting something out of it.

Overall, what are your comments about what makes a good leader? I learn’t a lot today and will be sure to put some of the techniques I learn’t into practice.


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